Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health

Internet Addiction Treatment Ontario

Overview: Internet Addiction Treatment In Ontario

Internet addiction can have a detrimental influence on one’s quality of life. At Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health, we believe that recovery is achievable with client-centred care and can significantly enhance mental and physical well-being. This page is here to help explain what is an internet addiction, its symptoms and consequences as well as how to overcome it.

Table of contents

What is an Internet Addiction?

Internet addiction is a form of behavioural addiction characterized by obsessive Internet use. People who are addicted to the Internet may have mental health or drug abuse concerns that require individualized treatment. Once Internet addiction has reached the point where it dominates your life, the only effective treatment is abstinence.

Symptoms of Internet Addiction

As with any other behavioural addiction, such as gambling, spending extended periods on the Internet to shop, watch porn or play games can cause a rush of dopamine, the brain’s pleasure chemical. This provides a sensation comparable to that of a drug-induced high, which can be the impetus for developing internet addiction symptoms.

Typical Indications and Symptoms of Internet Addiction

  • No longer participating in activities formerly enjoyed
  • Spending much of one’s awake time online.
  • Anger or anger if requested to step away from your preferred electronic device.
  • Lying about your Internet usage
  • Covertly accessing the Internet

What is an Internet Addiction?

Internet addiction is a form of behavioural addiction characterized by obsessive Internet use. People who are addicted to the Internet may have mental health or drug abuse concerns that require individualized treatment. Once Internet addiction has reached the point where it dominates your life, the only effective treatment is abstinence.

Questions to Reflect On

If you’re unsure whether you have an internet addiction or not there are a few critical questions that everyone needs to answer in an honest fashion:

  • Do you use the Internet regardless of any consequences to yourself and the people around you?
  • Do you suffer from a compulsion and an overwhelming need to be online?
  • Do you have little control over the frequency and amount of time spent on the Internet?
  • Do you crave being online?

If you’ve answered yes to several of these questions, you’ll want to know more about our Internet addiction programs.

GET HELP TODAY!

Consequences of Internet Addiction

Internet addiction can have serious psychological and physiological consequences for the user. Addiction to the internet has been linked to a variety of physical issues and emotional issues.

Physical

  • Headaches
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Sleeplessness
  • Blurred eyesight
  • Unexpected gains or losses in body weight

Emotional

  • Depression
  • Dishonesty
  • Anxiety
  • Social isolation
  • Violence
  • Mood swings

Overcoming Internet Addiction

Around 8% of the global population is addicted to the Internet. Those numbers demonstrate the increasing prevalence and seriousness of internet addiction worldwide. There are some options for treatment if you or a loved one are experiencing this.

  1. Admit it
  2. Seek therapy
  3. Limit smartphone use
  4. Socialize
  5. Change communication patterns
  6. Follow a routine
  7. Prioritize your needs
  8. Keep devices inaccessible
  9. Find activities outside
  10. Know the cause


Call us today, your recovery starts here.

Internet Addiction Treatment

Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health offers a variety of treatment programs that are tailor-made for unique circumstances and needs. We have packages that combat Internet addiction in Ontario. Our team of passionate experienced, skilled therapists can help you to overcome this and any other addiction. Our approach depends on the individual we are treating.

We understand that everyone’s addiction journey is separate and unique. When you come to us looking for help, we start the process off with a comprehensive assessment. It’s the best way to get to know what your individual needs are and the challenges and circumstances that have brought you to our doors.

Our professional team of experts also understands how important friends and family are to any addiction recovery. Addictions to the Internet don’t happen all by themselves. That’s why part of our therapy involves fixing the relationships with partners and spouses as well as friends parents and children.

Counselling for Internet Addiction

At Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health, we offer comprehensive counselling services tailored to address the modern-day challenge of Internet Addiction. Our team of experienced therapists understands the complexities of internet addiction and provides personalized treatment plans to help individuals regain control over their digital habits.

Our approach to internet addiction counselling is rooted in evidence-based practices. We believe in not just treating the symptoms but addressing the underlying causes of internet addiction. Our therapists employ a variety of techniques, including cognitive-behavioural therapy, mindfulness practices, and group therapy, to provide a holistic approach to recovery.

Whether you’re seeking help for yourself or a loved one, our therapists are here to guide you on your journey to recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our internet addiction recovery programs available in Toronto, the GTA and across Ontario.

Conclusion

Internet addiction is a behavioural addiction defined by excessive and obsessive use of the Internet, which may have serious psychological consequences and a profoundly detrimental effect on one’s quality of life. Some of the signs and symptoms of Internet addiction include spending excessive amounts of time online, losing interest in other activities you once loved, and becoming angry when asked to stop using the Internet.

Depression, anxiety, and loneliness are just some of the mental health issues that may arise from a lack of sleep or other symptoms of substance abuse. However, therapy is accessible and, when done properly, effective.

Comprehensive, client-centred care is available from Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health. Each person’s struggle with addiction is different, and our skilled therapists know that healing frequently requires rebuilding broken bonds with family and friends. Internet addiction is treatable, and recovery may enhance one’s mental and physical health and overall quality of life with the right support system in place.

Frequently Asked Questions: Internet Addiction

To stop Internet addiction follow these steps:

  • Recognize the problem and its effects. 
  • Establish feasible goals for internet usage.
  • Utilize applications to restrict screen time.
  • Engage in offline activities such as reading, sports, or socializing.
  • If necessary, seek professional assistance. 

Remember, the goal is to achieve balanced internet use, not total avoidance.

Internet addiction is considered a mental disorder. It’s officially recognized as “Internet Use Disorder” or “Internet Gaming Disorder” in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). It’s characterized by excessive use of the internet, leading to impairment or distress in several aspects of life.

Yes, internet addiction can be similar to drug addiction in terms of its psychological effects. Both can trigger a reward system in the brain, leading to a cycle of dependence and withdrawal. However, unlike drug addiction, internet addiction doesn’t involve a physical substance, but rather behavioural patterns. It’s important to note that the severity and consequences can vary between individuals.

Diagnosing Internet addiction typically involves:

  1. Clinical interview: A mental health professional assesses the individual’s internet use patterns, emotional state, and life impact.
  2. Self-report questionnaires: Tools like the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) can help quantify the severity.
  3. Observing symptoms: These may include preoccupation with the internet, withdrawal symptoms when offline, unsuccessful attempts to control use, lying about usage, and loss of interest in other activities.

A diagnosis is made if internet use is causing significant distress or impairment.

Screen Dependency Disorder (SDD) symptoms include:

  1. Preoccupation with screens: Spending excessive time on screens to the exclusion of other activities.
  2. Withdrawal symptoms: Feeling restless, moody, or irritable when screen time is reduced.
  3. Tolerance: Needing increasing amounts of screen time to achieve satisfaction.
  4. Failed attempts to control use: Unsuccessful efforts to reduce or stop screen time.
  5. Loss of interest: Neglecting hobbies or activities due to screen use.
  6. Continuation despite problems: Persisting with excessive screen use despite negative consequences.

Internet addiction itself is a mental health disorder. However, it can also contribute to or exacerbate other mental health conditions, including:

  1. Depression: Excessive internet use can lead to social isolation and feelings of sadness.
  2. Anxiety: The constant need to be online can cause anxiety, especially social anxiety.
  3. Insomnia: Overuse of the internet, especially before bedtime, can disrupt sleep patterns.
  4. ADHD: Internet addiction can exacerbate symptoms in individuals with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
  5. Stress disorders: The pressure to be constantly connected can lead to chronic stress.

It’s important to seek professional help if internet use is causing distress or impairment.

Symptoms of social media addiction include:

  1. Spending excessive time on social media platforms.
  2. Feeling anxious or restless without access to social media.
  3. Neglecting personal or professional responsibilities due to social media use.
  4. Failed attempts to reduce or control social media use.
  5. Using social media as an escape from negative moods.
  6. Experiencing conflict with others over social media use.
  7. Continuation of excessive use despite understanding its negative impact.

If these symptoms cause significant distress or impairment, professional help should be sought.