Internet and Video Game Addiction

It is undeniable that in recent years, technology has become a major and overwhelming force in our society.  It is nearly unheard of for someone to go without a cell phone or access to the internet.  However, the explosion of technology has resulted in some disturbing effects; people of all different age groups and backgrounds have shown a startling increase in addiction to online activities or video and computer games.

Technology addiction can vary in its severity, with anything ranging from video games and social media sites (Facebook, MySpace, etc.) all the way to cyber-pornography or cyber-gambling.  Often times, individuals addicted to various types of technology choose to spend time in a virtual world rather than interacting in healthy behaviors with real people and dealing with real-life problems, which therapists describe as an avoidance mechanism.  These people commonly suffer from substance abuse and other co-occurring conditions, as well as various underlying issues.  There are several signs to look for if you suspect yourself or someone you know is addicted to the internet or video games.

If you spend more time online or playing games rather than with people, if you snap, yell, or act annoyed if someone bothers you while you are online, if being online helps you escape your life and results in a release or soothing thoughts, if you neglect your job, household chores or lose sleep because you can’t leave the computer, if you feel depressed, moody, or nervous when you are not online, or if you are secretive or try to hide how long you’ve been online or playing games, you may have a problem.

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