Definition<br /><ul><li>Dependency on online activities, including surfing the web, stock trading, IM, blogging, online video gaming.
Various labels for this addiction: Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD); Pathological Computer Use (PCU).
Broader definition could include console gaming, TV, and other technology such as cell phones & Blackberry.
No material substance involved; considered more socially acceptable.
Identified as a mental health issue in Korea, China, USA, and other countries; top priority for public health in China & Korea.</li></li></ul><li>Statistics<br /><ul><li>Teenage Internet users in the U.S. increased from 42% in 2000 to 51% in 2005.
Up to 9 M Americans at risk for IAD; per Dr. Jerald J. Block of Oregon Health & Sciences University. (NY Times 12/1/2005)
Up to 30% of S. Koreans under 18 (2.4 M) at risk for IAD; minimum 2 hrs online daily; per 3-yr government-funded survey. (NY Times 11/18/2007)
Up to 14% of teens in China at risk for IAD. (NY Times 2/22/2007)</li></li></ul><li>Symptoms<br />Spending a disproportionate amount of waking hours on the computer.<br />Often combined with addiction to online pornography, news junkies etc.<br />Other responsibilities are neglected; life becomes unmanageable.<br />
Diagnostic QuestionsSource: James Fearing Ph. DNational Counselling Center, Minneapolis MN<br />Have you lost control of, or failed to limit the amount of time you stay on the computer, breaking promises to self or others, promising to quit and being unable to do so?<br />Are you dishonest about or do you minimize the extent of time you stay on the computer? Do you cover up the computer activities you participate in?<br />
Diagnostic Questions<br />Are you, your family and friends experiencing negative consequences as a result of your time spent or activities you participate in on the computer?<br />Do you participate in risky and normally unacceptable behaviors, compromising your morals and values because you can take advantage of your online anonymity? (Ask your parent, spouse, or family if they would approve of these activities.)<br />
Second Life<br />Where virtual becomes real!<br />
Diagnostic Questions<br />Do you have an overdeveloped sense of importance for the computer in your life, defending your right to use it as much as you desire, regardless of how other people in your life feel neglected? Do you deny the problem and justify it, unable to hear or feel what others around you are saying about your computer behavior?<br />
Diagnostic Questions<br />Do you have mixed feelings of euphoria (the “rush”), combined with feelings of guilt brought on by either the inordinate amount of time spent on the computer or the abnormal behavior acted out while using the computer?<br />
Diagnostic Questions<br />Do you have feelings of depression, anxiety, anger, and aggression when your time on the computer is cut short?<br />Are you preoccupied with the computer and computer activities when you are not using the computer e.g. thinking about the computer and its activities when doing something else like having family dinner or doing homework?<br />
Diagnostic Questions<br />Do you find yourself using the computer whenever you are feeling sad, lonely, anxious, irritated, worried or afraid? Do you use the computer to “self-medicate” and “hide” from real life problems, responsibilities and relationships?<br />
Diagnostic Questions<br />Do you experience financial concerns or problems in your life as a result of money being spent on computer hardware, online expenses, or any other costs associated with computers? Have you spent money on computer-related items which should have been allocated to other normal living expenses?<br />
Additional Diagnostic Questions<br />Do you get so engrossed in online activities, including video games, that you neglect to eat, sleep, brush teeth, shower or even go to the bathroom?<br />Do you suffer from backaches, dry eyes, headaches from playing, carpal tunnel syndrome, and obesity?<br />
Motivation<br /><ul><li>Social Anxiety: finding success, popularity and acceptance online.
Unsatisfying Family Relations, including inadequate time spent with parents, lack of communication.
Lack of healthy coping skills for difficulties in life.
Comorbid Diagnosis such as depression, anxiety disorders, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder.</li></li></ul><li>Effects of IAD<br />Physiological<br />Eye strain, bad posture, obesity, carpal tunnel syndrome, effects of radiation exposure, fatalities resulting from sleep deprivation.<br />Psychological<br />Depression, anxiety, paranoia or phobia resulting from isolation.<br />
Effects of IAD<br />Social<br />Social anxiety can be a cause and a result of IAD. <br />Developmental<br />Development of these skills is arrested or delayed as a result of computer overuse: social skills, communication skills, relational skills.<br />Failure to develop in academics and career.<br />
Became “an anxious, phobic shell… with vacant eyes and a complete inability to interact, or even make eye contact with other humans. The withdrawal symptoms closely resembled the symptoms of withdrawal from cocaine or amphetamines.”</li></li></ul><li>Types of Intervention<br />Residential Treatment<br />Wilderness Therapy programs<br />Transitional Living Treatment Centers<br />Psychotherapy<br />Family & Couples Therapy<br />Change the value we place on technology in the home.<br />
Resources<br /><ul><li>Residential Treatment Programs</li></ul> Proctor Hospital, Peoria, IL<br /> McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA<br /> Sierra Tucson Hospital & Behavioral Health Center, AZ<br /> Wilderness Therapy Programs<br /><ul><li>Center for Online Addiction, Bradford, PA (Dr. Kimberly Young)
Computer Addiction Study Center, McLean Hospital, Belmont, MA</li></li></ul><li>Is Your Child Afraid To Grow UP?<br />The wilderness is a metaphor for real life.<br />Adolescents and adults face many challenges in the wilderness.<br />They learn to deal with their fears.<br />The images below are attributed to Passages To Recovery.<br />
Support Groups<br />Cyberwidow Support Groups<br />Olga.org for the client; Olganon.org for family & friends.<br />AA, NA, and other 12-Step Recovery Groups for the client; Alanon for the spouses and family<br />Psychotherapy<br />Dr. Hilarie Cash, Redmond WA<br />Michael Galloway, Seattle WA<br />Other therapists<br />
Publications<br />Melodie Beatty, Codependent No More<br />Abraham Twerski, Addictive Thinking<br />Abraham Twerski, Addictive Personality<br />Hilarie Cash & Kim McDaniel, Video Games & Your Kids <br />Wendy Richardson, The Link Between A.D.D. & Addiction<br />John Gottman, Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child<br />Bonnie Zucker, Anxiety-Free Kids<br />Alex & Brett Harris, Do Hard Things<br />
Coach Theresa Ip Froehlich<br />I am available to answer any further questions you might have regarding IAD. I am also professionally trained to coach parents or other adults on a wide variety of topics.<br />Please reach me at www.theresaipfroehlich.com<br />