Beating an Addiction to Computers
Computer addiction is a modern complaint increased by the advent of easy fast and cheap access. The knowledge needed for working and running a computer is now also freely taught in schools as it is a crucial part of modern learning.
Addiction occurs as the computer and often Internet become the focus of the sufferer's life. They find themselves spending most of their free time (and often time supposed to be spent at school or work) on the computer causing withdrawal from regular society resulting in isolation. They spend much of their time away from the computer thinking about it, planning their next session and even having cravings; time often becomes an unimportant and irrelevant quantity.
How Does It Happen?Feelings of happiness and worth can occur from using the computer to either communicate, shop or play games. Users often feel like they are ‘meeting’ new people, are more valued than in normal society which can all contribute to feelings of euphoria.
Existing family members, friends, employment and schooling become neglected and symptoms of cravings and withdrawal take over everyday thoughts.
Overcoming the AddictionThinking positively and reminding yourself that you are a strong willing and valued citizen are vital in overcoming addiction.Limit the amount of time spent on the PC and put restrictions or locks on the sites that you are most addicted to.Allocate time and sessions for use and make sure you stick to it; ask other family members to help you achieve this, use timers and a rota if it helps.
Continue communication with friends and family usually achieved on the computer via a letter or by phone; this increases the methods of communication you are skilled in and will help in many employment settings.
Write a list of the physical dangers that can occur as a result of computer or VDU overuse, keep it near to the computer of attached to the screen (when not in permitted use) for easy referral/reminder.
Try and identify the root of the problem and why this addiction occurred, use the help of a counsellor if necessary, and try to develop coping strategies to avoid relapse.
As this is a relatively new form of addiction, support groups may be difficult to find, why not set up your own, allowing for discussion with others who understand, a circle of friends who will spur each other on and a focus to fill your spare time.
Engage yourself with non-computer related activities like sports or games reaping the benefits of both exercise and increasing your social circle.
Learn to enjoy being outdoors and appreciating your local surroundings.
Helping YourselfMany computer addicts are housebound for a variety of reasons, thus allowing the situation to arise, speak to your carer, social worker etc for help in finding other activities or rehabilitation for aiming to resume increased mobility.
Computer addiction can cause the individual to suffer many health-related problems as well as those regarding social issues and psychological factors. It should be taken seriously as a problem and not undermined nor trivialised. Help should be sought when the individual is determined to overcome their problem.