Management of Internet Addiction

The internet has quickly become a way of life during the last two decades. One of its consequences has been excessive internet use to exclude all other interests and duties. The internet may become addictive. Though online addiction is not a formal mental diagnosis, the American Psychiatric Association has listed internet gaming disorder as a condition requiring additional investigation in the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5). It is vital to note that internet gaming has progressively grown into a thriving sector.

What is Management of Internet Addiction?

Dysfunction is a discrete phenomenon or indicator of deeper psychological or behavioral problems. It is not uncommon for a person with a gambling problem, as opposed to someone with an Internet addiction, to spend a significant portion of their time looking for online gambling sites. More research is needed into the "chicken or the egg" nature of internet addiction before effective solutions can be offered. A recent survey shows that four percent of American college (or university) students between 18 and 20 participated in inappropriate internet behavior.

Academic research on addictive behavior typically relies on self-selected online surveys with no control group. Although several studies have found that college and university students are at a higher risk for substance abuse, this is not the case. Surveys can be difficult to design and implement. Studies focusing on a single demographic may not yield reliable results since their findings cannot be extrapolated to the entire population.

Therapy for Internet Addiction

It includes −

Psychotherapeutic Intervention

There are two ways to psychotherapeutic intervention: absolute abstinence and limited usage. Given the internet's multiple benefits and beneficial applications in daily life, it is impossible to adopt the total abstinence paradigm (as in drug use disorder therapy), even in individuals addicted to the internet. 'Moderate and regulated use' should be the primary driving concept. In the abstinence approach, the individual refrains from using a certain online application (chat rooms or games) and utilizes other apps in moderation. This abstinence strategy is advised for people who have attempted and yet to limit their usage of a certain application. The intervention begins with gathering information on the starting and maintaining elements.

Rehabilitation for Internet Addiction

Typically, treatment for internet addiction consists of teaching people how to use tools and techniques to use the internet less frequently or for shorter durations. Treatment may initially focus on improving the patient's drive to change and educating him or her about the negative effects of excessive internet use. Helping patients identify and manage their triggers and high-risk surroundings is one of the most important aspects of treating internet addiction.

Motivational Enhancement Therapy

Subjects are frequently unmotivated to undergo therapy, and motivation must be improved. Motivational enhancement therapy (MET) elicits a change in internet addicts through a systematic intervention strategy. It is based on motivational psychology concepts and is intended to generate quick, inwardly driven transformation. This therapy technique does not try to direct and coach the client through recovery step by step but instead uses motivating strategies to mobilize the client's transformation resources. The motivational balancing exercise aids in motivational interviewing.

To assist a person in deciding to change, it would be beneficial to urge him/her to assess the benefits and drawbacks of changing and continuing to use the internet. After assessing the costs and rewards, he or she will recognize the necessity for change. To simplify the transition from using to not using the internet, the balance must be tipped such that the benefits of quitting exceed the disadvantages of continuing to use the internet. This might strengthen the person's will to change.

Behavioral And Cognitive Modification

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most effective treatments for internet and process addictions. Cognitive-behavioral therapy may assist individuals with internet addiction by encouraging them to redefine their perspective on life. Misconceptions are debunked, and more appropriate Internet usage practices are offered. The method could also be used to develop a strategy for changing online behavior. Support in a Group Setting Concerns with Internet Addiction In some respects, the objectives of group therapy for internet addiction can parallel those of cognitive-behavioral therapy. However, one of the benefits of group therapy is that participants can draw on the wisdom and insight of their peers.

Peer pressure can effectively motivate individuals seeking treatment in a group setting. The average internet user feels that the virtual world treats them better (i.e., provides more joy) than the real one. It appears as all-or-nothing maladaptive cognitions such as "I am appreciated more in the virtual world," "I constantly have to limit myself or follow my parents/brother in the actual world, but in the virtual world I can do whatever," and so on. These beliefs can be addressed in therapy settings by adopting a dysfunctional technique of meeting an unsatisfied desire in a virtual field and giving skill training to establish alternative joyful pursuits in the real world. It can assist the customer in transitioning from the virtual to the actual world.

Family Oriented therapies

Family-based therapies have also been demonstrated to be beneficial. Treatment might include family members such as parents or spouses. The goal is to improve knowledge of the negative implications of excessive internet use/engagement in other behaviors, to boost coping skills, to encourage prosocial peer behaviors, and to improve parental practices. Individual sessions with adolescents focus on promoting treatment participation and increasing motivation for alternative behaviors in high-risk circumstances.

Individual sessions with parents focus on strengthening healthy internet usage, improving parenting techniques, evaluating the child's internet use and other behaviors, explaining the rationale for creating healthy technology use, and establishing internet use rules. The joint session might concentrate on the parental commitment to the teenager and developing a healthy parent-child connection. It is necessary for efficient parental supervision of children's internet use.

Methods of Motivational Interviewing

Extremely frequent Internet users might not see this as a problem. Educating the public about the dangers of excessive internet use is likely the first step in combating internet addiction. Motivational interviewing is a technique for encouraging individuals to make good behavioral changes by tapping into their own motivational and inspirational resources. People are more likely to modify their behavior, such as limiting their time spent online, when they are informed of the potential negative consequences of continuing to engage in that behavior.

Other Measures

Treatment Strategies Using non-therapeutic measures, such as those promoted by organizations like Internet Addiction Help, may make it simpler for some individuals to limit their online time. Some alternative strategies try to improve a person's mood with the expectation that a happier person will be less prone to engage in addictive online behavior. Exercise. Regular exercise can assist with mood problems such as depression and anxiety. Because of its mood-boosting properties, exercise is an excellent strategy for combating internet addiction.

During exercise, it may be impossible to have phone calls, which also prevents you from surfing the web. Bringing your phone is unnecessary. Mobile devices allow users to access the Internet virtually anywhere and anytime. According to some research, folks who spend excessive time on their phones and the internet may benefit by leaving them at home. Remember to take breaks and sleep. Limiting internet usage to specific times of the day or taking frequent breaks from the internet to lessen usage can be beneficial. This strategy takes self-discipline and effort on the user's part since they must make a daily, intentional decision to refrain from accessing the internet for a predetermined period.

Content in the same way, technology expands people's access to the internet and solves the problem of excessive internet usage. There is software that can keep youngsters or employees off the internet after a certain time or at certain times of the day. Included are browser extensions like Stay Focusd and others that block distracting websites.

You can also find applications, such as Rescue Time and TMetric, that claim to monitor your internet activity and provide insight into your behaviors. Remedy for Internet Dependence Finding a local support group that deals with internet-related difficulties may be difficult. On the other hand, as Internet connections become more prevalent, the number of connected support organizations will also increase. Greater accessibility to support groups is a frequent characteristic of urban centers. Addiction to the Internet and Other Psychological Issues Researchers have shown that internet addicts also deal with substance abuse and mental health problems.


If you have a co-occurring mental health illness and a compulsion to spend time online, you require treatment that addresses both difficulties. For many, time spent online is a welcome diversion. Those battling with internet addiction may benefit from the treatment of comorbid diseases.

Updated on: 28-Apr-2023


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