Finding Help for a Computer Addiction
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Computer addiction can become as severe as the desire to gamble, shop, or participate in many other fun activities. Finding help for a computer addiction can be done in different ways, but understanding your needs is the first step. Then you can seek the type of assistance that is right for you.
Know Your Needs
Treatment should always be based on the needs of the patient in order to be successful. Ask yourself:
- How severe is my addiction?
- Do I need to be in a residential care facility?
- What is the worst part of my computer addiction?
- Will my family and friends help me during this time?
- Do I have any other mental disorders that should be addressed along with my computer addiction (ex. depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder)?
Once you have answered these questions, you will know what you need from your treatment program and will be able to find the right kind of help for you.
Counseling is one of the best ways to find help for an addiction. This treatment exists both in residential facilities and in doctor’s offices. In counseling, you will be taught tactics that will make it easier to resist your desire to be on the computer including
- Keeping a “gaming/Internet habit log (number of hours playing/being online)” (UMN)
- Discussing the reason why the computer holds such a fascination for you and how you may be able to change the way you feel about it
- Subversion techniques where, when the desire for this activity arises, you are able to work on doing or thinking about something else
You will learn about your addiction in counseling and the ways to fight it which will be very beneficial to your situation overall.
Online Gaming Anonymous is a support group that exists for individuals who are constantly playing games on the computer, despite the problems this activity causes in their lives. At these group meetings, you will be able to discuss the issues you have with computer addiction with others who have the same problem. This can be very helpful in making you feel less isolated, a common symptom of addiction. Behavioral tactics are often taught as well to help group members stay strong throughout their days and not give into the temptation of excessive computer time.
According to the NCBI, severe computer addiction has caused growing concern and “specialized treatment centers and programs have been established in Europe… and the US (including the inpatient centers RESTART Internet Addiction Recovery Program in Seattle and the recently opened digital detoxification and recovery center in Pennsylvania).”
These centers can provide help to those individuals who need a fully controlled environment where they have no access to computers unless specifically allowed by their treatment providers.
There are many helpful resources for computer addiction, but one of the most important of these is just talking to a friend or family member. If you are able to discuss your issue with someone close to you, it can be so much easier to take the next step and find out what treatments may be necessary for you.