Do you or someone you know have an internet addiction?

1.    Do you feel preoccupied with the Internet (think about previous on-line activity or anticipate next on-line session)?
2.    Do you feel the need to use the Internet with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction?
3.    Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop Internet use?
4.    Do you feel restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet use?
5.    Do you stay on-line longer than originally intended?
6.    Have you jeopardised or risked the loss of significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the Internet?
7.    Have you lied to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet?

8.    Do you uses the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)?Addictions act as a lubricant to cope with missing or unfulfilled needs which arise from unpleasant events or situations in life. The addictive behavior temporarily allows the person to “forget” their problems. In the short term, this may be a useful way to cope with the stress of a difficult situation, however, addictive behaviors used to escape or run away from unpleasant situations only end up making the problem worse. For example, an alcoholic who continues to drink instead of dealing with the problems in their marriage, only makes the emotional distance wider by not communicating with their spouse.  Addicts tend to remember the self-medicating effects of their addictions, and forget how the problem grows worse as they continue to engage in such avoidant behavior. The difficult situation then becomes a major trigger for continued and excessive use. For example, as the alcoholic’s marriage gets worse, drinking increases to escape the relationship issues, and as the issues increases, the alcoholic drinks more.

Internet addiction operates in the same way as any other addiction brought on by triggers or cues which lead to “net binges.” Behaviors related to the Internet have the same ability to provide emotional relief, mental escape, and ways to avoid problems as do alcohol, drugs, food, or gambling. Origins for  net binges can be traced back to the following four types of triggers which need to be assessed:

•    applications
•    feelings
•    cognitions
•    life events

“Internet addiction can be defined as an impulse-control disorder which does not involve an intoxicant.”

If you or someone else in your family is addicted to the internet call a TLC Counsellor today.