Addiction to the Internet and teenagers

It’s hard to find a teenager who does not spend a considerable amount of their time on the Internet, whether they are playing games or interacting on social media. Many parents feel that their teens spend too much time online, but they have a constant struggle to limit Internet activity,

However, there is a big difference between a teenager who spends a little too much time in the online world and one that is obsessed to the point of addiction. Internet addiction is often seen as the result of poor parenting but in reality, it has the same basis as other addictions such as alcohol, drugs, and gambling. These addictions are treated seriously, and addressed at facilities such as Granite House, so that sufferers can recover. Internet addiction is also very real, and it’s important that you spot the signs in your teenager, so that they can be helped as soon as possible.

What causes Internet addiction?

Much like other forms of addiction, there is no single cause of addiction to the Internet. There can be many reasons why a teenager develops an obsession with being online. However, Internet addiction is often associated with others issues that a teenager may be having including:

  • ADHD
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • The need to escape real-world issues such as bullying.

It’s important that the addiction is identified so that it can be treated alongside any accompanying disorders or problems.

What are the signs that your teenager may be affected?

There is a big difference between a teenager who spends a couple of hours playing online games with friends and one who closes themselves off for hours on end at the expense of other aspects of normal life. Once the Internet takes over a teenager’s life, the problem needs to be addressed. There are several signs that this may have happened.

  • Anger and irritability when they cannot get online.
  • Lower grades in school.
  • Lack of attention to personal hygiene.
  • Distancing from real-world
  • Falling asleep during the day.
  • Lying about Internet activity.

If you realize that your teenager has a problem with Internet addiction, you need to speak to them about it and seek help and treatment options if necessary.

How is Internet addiction treated?

The method of treatment for Internet addiction depends on the teenager involved and how severe the addiction is. Professionals can help you decide which is the best option for your teenager. The choices you may want to consider include:

  • Restriction or removal of Internet access.
  • Therapy in a one-to-one, group or family setting.
  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
  • Recreation Therapy.
  • Art Therapy.

No matter which treatment option is chosen, the sooner it starts the better. It can be hard to admit that your teenager has an addiction to the Internet because you think this somehow means that you are a bad parent. However, admitting that there is an issue, and seeking help, is actually good parenting.

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