Can you become addicted to the Internet?

Believe it or not, it is possible to become addicted to anything if the circumstances are right. It is vital to remember that not all addiction is physical – an extremely large part of addiction is psychological and involves the behaviours around the activity involved. One of the problems when considering the question can you become addicted to the internet, is that the internet is readily available in a way that substances sometimes are not. These days it is possible to access the internet with phones and there are vast arrays of internet cafes available; hence why internet addiction has increased massively from the time where a dial-up connection was required.

Some may consider internet addiction to be a relatively minor issue – after all, being addicted to the internet won’t affect your health. Well actually, recent studies have shown that it can. A study carried in conjunction between Welsh and Italian Universities has shown that withdrawal from the internet can in fact produce the same physical withdrawal symptoms as coming off of drugs. The most drastic findings related to negative mood and depression when internet access was prevented. This has far reaching consequences for every day functioning – potentially causing problems in relationships and in working life.

These withdrawal symptoms are the trigger to the possibility of an addiction developing; the person in question may discover that accessing the internet again alleviates the negative feelings and so will seek it out more frequently in order to maintain this psychological “high.”

So unfortunately, when wondering can you become addicted to the internet; the answer is sadly, yes. However, it is also important to stress that if an addiction develops, there is help available. If you, or a loved one think they may be suffering from internet addiction, call one of our expert addiction treatment counsellors. We are here to help.


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