The internet is widespread in the modern world – almost everything requires an internet connection or a smart phone. This dependence on screens has led to the growth of internet addiction in several countries around the world. In places likes Korea, Italy, Pakistan, and China, the internet is wreaking havoc on the lives of their citizens. The United States has classified it as a mental disorder, and CBT therapy is one of the most common ways to curb the disorder.
To understand how cognitive behavioral therapy can treat Internet addiction, it is necessary to understand what Internet addiction disorder is and how it affects the people caught in its grasp.
Internet Addiction Disorder
While substance abuse disorders have been long recognized as disorders, behavioral addictions have recently been recognized as a source of significant disruption in life. Gambling addiction is currently listed in the DSM-V due to how similar the patterns of gambling addiction resemble drug and alcohol dependence. Both addictions form during the onset of young adulthood and show patterns of relapse due to withdrawal symptoms and relapse.
Like a gambling disorder, Internet addiction is a behavioral disorder. Both disorders involve adverse consequences and diminished impulse control when it comes to participating in the activity. Individuals may miss work deadlines and withdraw from their families and established routines. Friends may be neglected, and soon life can become unstable and unmanageable. They may be consumed by the internet, ignoring friends and family so that they can spend more time on the computer chatting and doing other internet activities.
These negative behaviors can cause addicted individuals to lose their friends, their jobs, or even their homes. If you or a loved one may be suffering from Internet addiction, seek professional care.
What is CBT Therapy?
Cognitive behavioral therapy, or CBT, is a type of therapy method that allows addicts to gain an understanding of the feeling of addiction and their actions. They will be able to learn coping skills and valuable ways to prevent relapsing. For CBT therapy to be effective, it will require an average of 3 months of treatment. When it involves internet addiction, CBT therapy primarily focuses on behaviors and how to manage impulse control.
As therapy continues, the distortions and maladaptive thought patterns will be addressed. There will not be teachings of abstinence, as this would be nearly impossible with all the screens that are a part of daily life. However, clinicians do recommend moderating and controlling internet use.
With CBT-IA, the features of internet addiction can be addressed and examined. The primary goal of this therapy method is to work towards abstinence from applications that have become problematic while striving to use computers for legitimate purposes.
For Internet and gambling addiction help, CBT therapy can break the cycle of addiction and help you or your loved ones establish healthy habits. Speak with a professional about the issues you are experiencing and admit that there is a problem. Committing to treatment is a big step, but it is the first step in a journey to conquering addiction.