1 Introduction 4
2 Theoretical Background 5
2.1 Internet Addiction 5
2.2 Generation D 6
2.3 Similar Characteristics of Behavior and Substance Addiction 7
3 Research Issues and Findings 10
3.1 Internet Use and Time 10
3.2 Identifiable Problems Linked to Internet Addiction among Generation D 12
3.3 Internet Addiction and Other Psychosocial Variables 13
3.4 Internet Addiction and Attitudes towards Digital Media by Generation D 14
4 The Addictive Properties of Internet Usage 16
4.1 Addictive Features of Internet Use 16
4.2 Tolerance and Withdrawal 18
4.3 Neurochemical Factors 20
4.4 Digital Media Attractiveness 21
4.4.1 Generation D Factors 21
4.4.2 Content factors 22
4.4.3 Social factors 23
4.4.4 Reward/reinforcement factors 27
4.4.5 Availability/process and access factors 29
5 Treatment for Internet Addiction in Generation D 33
5.1 Assessment of Internet Addiction 33
5.2 Treatment 35
5.2.1 Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, CBT 35
5.2.2 Pharmacotherapy 39
5.2.3 Family Therapy 40
5.2.4 Reality Therapy 41
6 Conclusion 43
The internet as a hi-tech innovation has greatly improved life.People are able to communicate regardless of time and location. It isalso possible to access information, learn new things, work onlineand build relationships. However, it is not without its demerits. Ofconcern is the addictive nature of the internet. Internet addictionrefers to problematic internet usage, whereby an individual isincapable of functioning without using the internet. Researchsuggests that individuals mainly affected by internet addiction areGeneration D. Generation D regards to the digital age generation. Itis a population who has the internet and digital tools entrenched intheir culture. Mobile devices, computers, social media sitesfacilitate and enhance internet communication among generation D. Theresearch discusses internet addiction by 1) Introducing the topic 2)Presenting Research Issues and Findings related to Internet addictionamong generation D 3) Addictive properties and 4) Treatment.
Internet addiction is a phrase, which describes unwarranted,problematic or maladaptive internet use. It is among the new interestareas in psychiatry. The internet, developed to enhance communicationand ease exchange and access of information, has developed pastexpectations. As a result, some users are incapable of regulatingtheir dependence on the internet. Research demonstrates that one ineight US civilians are suffering from problematic use of theinternet. Generation D represents a majority of the individuals thatcannot live without the internet. Teenagers and young adults below 25years are most prone since digital tools, as well as the internet areentrenched in their way of life (Mckibben, 2014). Internet addictionis an emerging kind of addiction among generation D, because of easeof access, affordability and anonymity linked to internet usage. Itis not achievable for generation D to live without communicating viasocial media, surfing or tweeting (Mckibben, 2014).
Addiction is controlling and can affect every part of the addict’slife. The addict may be completely incapable of giving up on internetuse. Research depicts that the major kernel accountable for extremeinternet use functions on variable-ratio strengthening (Swanson,2014). Because an addict is unaware, of what message or informationthey will get, the anxiety activates the mesolimbic dopaminecircuits. This implies that dopamine malfunction is linked to thedisorder (Swanson, 2014). Similar to different addictions likealcohol, gambling and drugs, based on molecular level as well asneural circuitry, there is ample proof to depict alterations indopamine and brain structure alterations attributed to addiction. Inaddition, quitting internet addiction has proven to be difficult forgeneration D, due to the negative consequences they experience. Likeother addictions, it is important to treat internet addiction.
2Theoretical Background2.1Internet Addiction
Psychology and counseling literature provides two essentialdescriptions of internet addiction. The first is the Diagnosticand Statistical Manual-Fourth Edition DSM_IV, referring toexcessive internet use as a behavior addiction that comprises of sixmain elements (Leung, 2004). These are “salience, moodmodification, tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, conflict and relapse(Leung, 2004).” The argument is that addiction may derive from oneor many factors of using the internet. They involve the procedure oftyping, communication medium, absence of one-on-one contact amongothers. The second description as well adapted from DSM-IV,Problematic Internet Use, employs criteria linked topathological gambling. For an individual to be termed as an internetaddict, they must demonstrate to have internet preoccupation, needmore time online, recurrent endeavors to minimize internet usage,withdrawal due to minimizing internet access, problems managing timeand mood alteration via using the internet (Leung, 2004). Thedescription seems to borrow more similarity to impulse controldisorder in place of reliance on substances.
Previous studies have explored the reasons why people use theinternet excessively. Notably, addicts employ the internet to avoidnegative feelings. Most admit to experiencing time distortion,hastened intimacy, and feeling uninterrupted when surfing. In a studyconducted on students concerning their internet use, 13% saidinternet use impeded with their social, work and school life (Leung,2004). Others indicated lack of sleep, ignorance towards family rolesamong others. The proof depicts a psychological disorder implyingthat internet addiction is a mental disorder symbolized by anunregulated longing to execute a behavior. The aftermaths might beextreme as they affect almost every aspect of life. Based onavailable literature, this paper evaluates how internet behavioraffects generation D.
Generation D refers to individuals that accept diversity, areinquisitive, self-assured and self-dependent. Additionally, theytotally differ from previous generations as they have grown up inenvironments where internet is part of their culture (Leung, 2004).They have specific differentiating traits, which are:
Global orientation and psychologically outgoing – technologicaldevelopments, in specific the internet, eases the capability ofgeneration D to communicate globally. The generation easily exposestheir inner viewpoints online as the mysterious character of the netmakes it possible for them to expose the feelings as much as theydesire. Electronic emailing, chat rooms and social media availchances for the individuals to exchange ideas regardless of racial orgeographic restrictions (Leung, 2004). Generation D has been broughtup comprehending the requirement for interconnectivity to theinternational society, which they have done through the internet.
Freedom to learning and information – because of extreme belief inequal chances, generation D strongly campaign for lifelong learning.They suppose that accessing information and expressing opinionsfreely are basic freedoms (Leung, 2004). As a result, they arefrequently researching information over the internet to advance theirknowledge, and share whatever information they have with peers.
Technology knowledge – the generation comprises of individuals thathave a keen sense of innovation and investigation. They are keenlyenthused by how technology functions (Leung, 2004). Habituated toyears of television programs surfing, as well as internet surfing,they anticipate that internet access must be immeasurable. Thegeneration values sovereignty and are rationally open to new ideasvia accessing the internet. The individuals are surprisinglyinventive concerning their application of the internet. The internetmakes it possible to regulate their programming plans. The insistenceis not on delivering information, rather searching for information.
Preoccupied with adulthood – generation D comprises of persons thatwant to be treated as grownups. This implies that they feel no oneshould interfere with their lifestyle (Leung, 2004). Hence, whatparents consider as addictive conduct, may not appear the same toteens and young adults. Any advice from grownups is taken as adisregard to the generation’s maturity (Leung, 2004). Thegeneration supposes that their actions are frequently suspect due tobeing young and lack of experience. As a result, parents andguardians have become lenient concerning wanting to know whatactivities their children engage in, which includes why they chat forlong hours, are always using their phones and must stay digitallyconnected. With ample freedom, teens and young adults can usecomputers, social media and internet as much as they desire. Thiscreates the problem of becoming addicted to using the internet.
2.3Similar Characteristics of Behavior and Substance Addiction
Experimental research and clinical explanations demonstrate thatsubstance as well as behavior addictions share similar traits. Thisjustifies their similar categorization with the mere disparity beingthe fact that in behavior addiction, the substance is replaced by thefeeling derived from acting out the conduct. Common aspects can begrouped to four major sections, which are neurobiological, genetic,clinical and social traits (Frascella et al, 2010 Grant et al,2010).
There seems to be a connection amid behavior/substance abuse andgenetics. Research conducted on persons addicted to online gamblingdepicts that the close relatives have a notably high level of playingsuch games (Grant et al, 2010). Hence, such behavior is passed onfrom generation to generation. Neurobiological study asserts thataddictive substances, in addition to the sensory observation andconduct arouse the similar brain reward structure, attributing to thebasic function in the advancement and addiction maintenance. Thestructure comprises various neurotransmitter structures. The majorfunction in the control of rewarding conduct comprises dopaminergicand endogenous opioid structure (Grant et al, 2010). Study depictsthat the utilization of psychoactive substances, as well as addictiveconduct trigger both brain regions (Frascella et al, 2010). Somebehavior addictions have similar personality characteristics assubstance addiction. For instance, excessive online gambling has themost apparent traits with substance addiction. Individuals diagnosedto have pathological gambling depict the same characteristics ofseeking novelty and impulsiveness. Individuals with the diagnosis aswell have a common liking of minimal but instant rewards to majorrewards in the end.
Behavior and substance addiction depict the sameness in theadvancement and disorder course. The two disorders frequentlycommence in teenage years and early adult years, and normally theyare prevalent during the age groups. The addictions time coursemanifests in the persistent sequences of conduct with recurrentrelapses. Addiction in both instances commences with nervousness orstimulation, which concludes with relief (Potenza, 2006). The cravingoften happens because of emotional dysregulation. Additionally, inbehavior addiction there exist impacts alike to tolerance, which isrequired in conducting more recurrent or enhanced intensity ofconduct to attain the similar impact. Individuals that have behavioraddictions note dysphoric moods when the conduct fails to progress,but when compared to substance addiction, classical withdrawal signsof physiological nature are unapparent (Potenza, 2006).
3Research Issues and Findings
Numerous studies have evaluated internet addiction, evaluating theassociation amid excessive internet use, computer-linked aspects andsocial-psychological aspects. This discussion concentrates on themajor issues and conclusions on internet addiction relating to itsapplication and time, linked challenges to internet addiction, theaddiction and social-psychological aspects, as well as the addictionand attitudes towards digital media.
3.1Internet Use and Time
The phrases ‘excessive use’ appearing in most internet addictionresearches, normally depict that time spent online is a relevantaspect or index for validating Internet addiction. For instance, inYoung’s research (1998), individuals that depend on the internetwere noted to use it 39 hours on a weekly basis. This contrasts tothe 5-hour use for non-dependents. It implies that addicts’internet use compares to a full-time employment. Addicts, as wellspend 8 times more online when compared to those that are notaddicts. Likewise, Chen and Chou (1999) noted that high-risk internetaddicts spend more time online compared to non-risk groups. In thestudy conducted on Chinese students, who fall in the bracket ofgeneration D, high-risk individuals are online for an average 20-hourweekly, while other normal internet users spent 9-hour (Chen &Chou, 1999). The study also noted that learners’ results on theirChinese Internet Addiction Scale were notably interrelatedwith weekly internet-use hours.
The actions that are executed online like playing online games,surfing, chatting, accessing social media and texting are a relevantfactor employed in validating internet addiction. Young’s findingsdepict that internet dependents employ principally two-waycommunication actions like chatting, role-play games like multi-userdimensions, electronic mails and newsgroup. Non-dependents mostprobably employed information-collecting functions present on theinternet like information protocols as well as the World Wide Web,WWW. Young’s research concludes that though the internet on its ownmay not be addictive, particular applications seem to contributetowards the advancement of pathological utilization of the internet.The conclusion is in line with other studies that not that multi-userdimension games, chat rooms among others are the fundamental internetactions, which result in addictive conduct. Excessive surfing, aswell as impulsively checking emails might lead to overuse challenges.
A research conducted in the Asian culture framework concluded thatseveral college learners regarded as addicts most often employed chatand talking applications in the Bulletin Board Systems, the WWW,File Transfers, Newsgroups, electronic mails and online games(Chou et al, 1999). The excessive time spent on these sites can beemployed in predicting whether users are addicts or not. Important indetermining whether internet over-use is a problem is why individualsuse the internet. In most instances, students will depend on theinternet when there is a two-way communication application. This isthe explanation why most internet addicts are generation D. Thegeneration depends on the internet to update their whereabouts, whatis happening in their lives and check up on updates. For instance,social media like Facebook makes it possible for individuals to postcomments. Friends and followers read and add their comments to thepost. An internet addict may often check their post to see the numberof friends that have commented or liked, making it a habit. The userexperiences uncontrollable triggers compelling them to get online.
The abovementioned researches result in a provisional conclusion.This means that though the internet might not be addictive, theapplications that individuals are able to use, add to the advancementof excessive use of the internet. The internet facilitates onlinecommunication, makes it possible to access social media and exchangeemails among other uses.
3.2Identifiable Problems Linked to Internet Addiction amongGeneration D
The internet results in many problems to users that become addicted.In a research conducted to determine issues linked to internet use,Brenner’s (1997) concludes that 80% of the 600 participantsdemonstrated to having five internet-use linked issues. These includethe inability to manage time, lack of sleep as well as skipping mealsamong other indicators. Other participants noted more gravechallenges like problems with employers due to inability toconcentrate and social exclusion apart from time spent communicatingwith online friends. The problems relate to those that are apparentin different kinds of addictions, like alcohol or drugs. Generation Dmainly comprises of individuals that are students or young workingadults. This results in the question of what types of challenges thatinternet addiction might inflict on learners and employees.
Research demonstrates that excessive internet use by students impedesin their academic performance and professionalism, and in extremecases social life. Apparently, the internet has a general negativeimpact on day-to-day life. Young’s research concluded that internetoveruse leads to personal, work and family challenges alike to thosefaced in different addictions (1998). The major issue is timedistortion that even led to physical problems like poor sleepingpatterns and feeling unexplained fatigue. Learners might also faceintense academic challenges, in the end leading in poor academicperformance, school probation and ejection from learninginstitutions. Different challenges deriving from over use of theinternet involve non-functioning relationships, affecting romantic,parent-child and friendship relations and monetary challenges.
Research notes that the estimates of generation D suffering fromproblematic internet application are more in China, Taiwan as well asKorea. Employing Taiwan college learners’ respondents, Chou andHsiao (2000) assessed learners’ self-evaluation of internet use andits effect on their lives. The students categorized as internetaddicts have aftermaths that are more negative on their education anddaily lives compared to non-addicts. Nevertheless, there lacks adisparity on the internet’s view effect on relations with allies,classmates, instructors and parents, from both addicts andnon-addicts. The study also results in the conclusion that manyindividuals will excessively use the internet due to therelationships they are capable of forming online. The internet availsthe chance for meeting new friends, avails extra, if not fundamentaltools to communicate with allies.
3.3Internet Addiction and Other Psychosocial Variables
When evaluating the issue of internet addiction, we question whetherindividuals have particular personality or social-psychologicaltraits, which cause them to become addicts. Psychosocial factorsinvolve personality as well as incidence of psychiatric disorder,family, age and different environmental aspects, which eitherenhances the peril of a person building an addictive disorder.
Several studies have evaluated the association amid internetaddiction and addicts’ social-psychological variables, like“experiencing pleasure, loneliness, depression, seeking sensationand use-and-gratification (Chou, Condron & Belland, 2005).” Inreference to the Center for Internet Addiction, most internet addictsalso experience emotional challenges like social, mood and anxietydisorders, as well as depression. Nearly 75% of internet addictssuffer from relationship challenges and employ social media, onlinecommunication, online gaming and digital media as a secure manner ofcreating advent relations (Chou, Condron & Belland, 2005). Whenusing the internet, it is difficult for users to keep track of timeor space. This implies that internet use is psychoactive, acting likea digital drug. Most internet dependents use it as an escape todistract from other problems. It appears that individuals seekpleasure online thus, it is probable that the depressed might beemploying the internet in treating their depression viapleasure-seeking actions. Low self-regard, poor motivation,apprehension of being rejected and requirement to seek approval, alllinked to depression add to the enhanced internet use.
3.4Internet Addiction and Attitudes towards Digital Media byGeneration D
Internet addiction is related to the user’s attitudes. GenerationD view using the internet as a must because they suppose it ensuresthat they remain connected. The internet comprises of aninexpressible ability to control, hook up and mobilize. The currentgeneration has diverse expectations for all kinds of relations.Associations now differ as the tools employed in maintainingpeer-to-peer connection has faced changes. The fundamentalconcentration is on the net and growth of social media. Social mediachanges the manner persons communicate through improving interactivecommunications. There are above 175 million Facebook users, implyingthat in case it was a nation, it could be the sixth most inhabitedglobally (Chou, Condron & Belland, 2005). Hence, Facebook has thecapability of uniting persons in diverse relations. Teens and youngadults opt to use social media like Facebook because it is capable ofconnecting individuals without boundaries. It is a largely populatedand wide resource being employed consistently to ensure relations.Individuals are currently accessing social media via mobile phoneseasing communication over the internet.
Generation D view communicating over the internet easier compared todirect communication. This especially applies to individuals thathave issues with their self-esteem. Internet communication makes itpossible for individuals to hide their real identity, and is lessexpressive. Internet addicts are most probable to accept that onlinecommunication is simpler, in addition to being comfortable, comparedto conventional types of personal communication. Reasons include thatonline communication gives the user control when interacting. In aresearch to determine the association amid network attitudes andaddiction in Taiwan learners, the results demonstrate that learnersthat suppose they can regulate internet relations and those thatgreatly value its worth seem to assert they require more timeinteracting online to attain desired happiness (Tsai & Lin,2001).
4The Addictive Properties of Internet Usage4.1Addictive Features of Internet Use
The distinctive characteristics of the internet add to thepossibility for internet addiction, particularly its speed,user-friendliness, greatness of information that is accessibleonline, and the effectiveness of its content. Many internetapplications like the WWW are easy to apply hence, improvehuman-computer communication. Additionally, applications like chatrooms, as well as electronic email, are specifically good at easinginterpersonal relations. Accessibility implies simple and affordableaccess to users. Plentiful and fast-restructured information is adifferent main feature, which draws users to take part online. Therange of concepts, themes, viewpoints and beliefs presented onlineprogressively alters users’ perceptions. The recognition of theinternet is enhancing. The progressively widening bandwidthprogresses in delivering multimedia resources in masses and higheminence. The growth of friendlier interfaces permits even users withlimited network literacy to utilize the internet effortlessly. If wecomprehend the internet as a type of mass medium, the probabilityemerges that the internet is in the procedure of substitutingconventional media like, newspapers, television and radio amongothers. This is because information required on a daily basis can bederived from the internet.
Research depicts that most actions and substances, which result ingratifying impacts seem to be done repeatedly (Toronto, 2009). Theaftermaths of reinforcing, a conduct is what makes it feasible thatthe act will be recurred. Positive reinforcement happens when theavailability of reinforces enhances the possibility of the earlierreaction. The sequence follows fundamental precepts of operantconditioning. Internet users naturally enhance their internet use,thus abuse, because of the pleasurable nature, as well asreinforcement system. The neurotransmitter, which appears most linkedwith pleasurable experience, is dopamine. Research depicts thatalcohol, drugs and gambling entail alterations in the dopaminetransmitter. Essentially, what users are addicted to is thealternating and impulsive flooding of dopamine, which becomestypically linked with the substance being used (Toronto, 2009). Theinternet fits in here. In drugs and alcohol, or substance abusedifferent aspects come in play, which involve physiologicalintoxication, tolerance and withdrawal. There are noticeable damagingoutcomes from abusing drugs, gambling among other addictions. Theinternet has several similar traits to such addictions, but alsocomprises of advent and exceptional traits. In internet addiction, itis also probable to detect tolerance and withdrawal, especially whenattempting to stop using the internet.
The phrase addiction is not normally apparent in addictionscategorization, mental or psychoanalysis. Instead, the widelyaccepted phrases are dependence and abuse, marked withaspects of physiological habituation (Toronto, 2009). To satisfy themeasures for what may strongly look like a substance-foundedaddiction, there ought to be involvement in a pleasing conduct withthe objective of changing the mood and perception, a sequence ofexcessive use, and the incidence of tolerance and withdrawal aspects.The markers are the most important and compare to those of differentimpulsive control disorders. Despite the method employed inclassifying the problem, there seems to be various main featuresrepresenting the clinical syndrome. First, the emphasis of aninternet addiction sequence could include not just the availabilityof tolerance, rather the availability of some type of withdrawalsequence (Toronto, 2009). Tolerance refers to the need to spend moretime online, more or differing levels of interesting content, orextra recurrent use. The withdrawal sequence of internet addictionentails an advanced state of physiological as well as psychologicalstimulation when alienated from the internet. Second, is employingthe internet for psychoactive reasons to change mood. In reference tothe internet, two intoxicative elements emerge. These are the precisedopamine elevation and intoxication through imbalance. Incase usingthe internet fails to have effect on a large living sphere it ispossibly not a problem, which calls for categorization as addiction.Importantly many addictive impacts arise from imbalances formedthrough excessive periods spent using the internet to surf, text,update status on social media and play online games.
4.2Tolerance and Withdrawal
A well-recognized feature in many addictions is the availability oftolerance and withdrawal. It is properly recorded that numeroussubstance-based addiction entail a level of psychological andphysiological tolerance to pre-founded phases of utilization in linewith tolerance, some kind of psychological withdrawal is found(Greenfield, 1999). In the case of substance-based dependences,tolerance in the results to the feeling of psychological withdrawalsigns when the substance is reduced or eliminated from application.The dependent frequently experiences a merge of uncomfortable notablesigns, in line with relevant psychological disturbance, entailingnervousness, bad temper, emotional liability and changes indisposition and conduct (Greenfield, 1999). Internet addictioncreates several exceptional disparities on the feeling of toleranceand withdrawal. In tolerance, there are various aspects in theutilization of the internet and different digital media platforms,which appear to copy what takes place with substance-foundedaddictions. The addictive capability of a substance is improved bythe speed of its absorption to the bloodstream it also seems thatthe fast access and reduced latency amid clicking and getting digitalimages, audio and different content appear to enhance the addictiveinternet capability (Greenfield, 1999). The great pace via which adesired image or content becomes apparent appears to improve theaddictive internet nature, hence enhancing the level of withdrawalsigns.
Withdrawal signs tend to differ depending on the addict. However,for internet withdrawal there is an apparent amount of verbal dissentduring the elimination of the technology, specifically when aguardian to the addict executes the removal (Greenfield, 1999). Thedissents involve amounts of strong feelings, irritation, feelingloss, separation, unexplained sickness, and a feeling of missingsomething. At times, expressive depictions of rage and exploitation,intimidation or blackmail can take place (Greenfield, 1999). Theoverpowering sign sequence appears to be founded on apprehension. Insome instances, dismal defiance might happen this can often betraced in teenagers and young adults whose parents eliminate thetechnology. In actuality, there are numerous accounts where teenshave become expressively and verbally aggressive when restricted fromusing the internet.
Different withdrawal signs involve increases in nervousness, rage,despair, irritability and social exclusion (Greenfield, 1999). Thehardship with the feeling of withdrawal from internet and differentdigital media technologies is it is almost improbable to attain asense of total self-restraint. Current living prevents the users fromevading to use the internet on a daily basis. The desired result ofself-restraint that is frequently the objective in drugs and alcoholtreatment is an unpractical possibility with internet addiction.Instead, what is anticipated to be attained is the formation of aregulated sequence of application. The regulated sequence has beenreferred to conscious computing. The incident of conscious computingis the advancement, incorporation of healthy, and media technologyapplication (Greenfield, 1999). This idea was initially observed inthe many German nonprofit associations availing public schooling andmaterial for prevention supporting healthy computing conducts(Greenfield, 1999). A regulated sequence affords an enhanced level ofconscious self-regulation and balanced application, and it is theconscious utilization, which affords more self-regulation andbalanced application.
There is massive research, which evaluates the effect of theincrease of dopamine and different neurotransmitters in the addictionsequence there is particular brain study arising, which depictsthrough functional magnetic resonance imaging, fMRI, scanningobvious neurophysiologic alterations from internet addiction (Chou,Condron & Belland, 2005). Advent research has concluded that theneural substrate of cue-triggered game urge and yearning in netaddiction is the same to that of drug abuse urge. It seems that theaddiction might precisely be to the enhanced dopamine levels itselfin the brain, and not just to the conduct or substance. It is therise of dopamine, which heavy internet users becomes accustomed. Theintoxication signals that individuals receive from employing theinternet or different digital media tools assist in triggering whatis categorized as addiction (Chou, Condron & Belland, 2005). Mostpleasurable conducts become addictive. Since digital media and theinternet result in the production of important feelings ofsatisfaction, there employment may construct an addictivepossibility.
The problem in detecting an internet addiction is easier when werealize that changes of mood and alertness happen when we employ oroveruse the internet and different digital media tools. The pleasingmood alteration enhances the possibility of advanced use and misuse.The nexus of an addictive conduct sequence is that pleasingactivities are pursued by intoxication or increased dopamine. Afterthe rise in dopamine is an addictive sequence that result in negativelife aftermaths, involving dishonor and remorse (Chou, Condron &Belland, 2005). The aftermath sequence then acts to enhance thedesire to change mood and awareness, to attain psychic numbing, aswell as individual-medication hence, easing more use and overuse.
4.4Digital Media Attractiveness
There are factors, which seem to be attributing to the addictivecapability of the internet, in addition to different digital mediadevelopments. The five major factors, which make the digital netattractive entail:
Generation D factors
Availability/process and access factors
4.4.1Generation D Factors
There are several aspects, which seem to add to the internet’saddictive nature, most of which arise from social or familyframework. Based on a clinical view, many treatment incidents, whichhappen, include negative aftermaths in fundamental or familyassociations (Leung, 2004). In the family framework, there isfrequently a turnaround of the generational ladder. Concerningdigital media and the internet, current children and teenagers havebeen brought up with the technology as part of their culture. Theyrefer to the digital generation or generation D. The generation ishighly knowledgeable of the internet, digital tools and computers,and frequently feels comfortable and self-assured when using thetechnology, compared to parents. It is characteristic for parents topass knowhow and experience to their offspring. Nonetheless, whenreferring to using the internet, the reverse is true.
To the generation D, the internet acts seamlessly and naturally, andthe generation frequently has advanced internet and digital knowhowfoundation compared to parents. It is an advent change in modernhistory where generational knowhow and power order has been altered.The enhanced awareness and ease, in line with great usage, formspower unevenness in the family structure, which has a relevant effecton how technology is dealt with at home (Leung, 2004). Frequently,the parent has minimal or no knowhow of internet use hence,incapable of telling if their children are internet dependent.Parents are frequently unaware of what is right or rational, and donot desire their children to lag behind technologically. The absenceof knowhow enhances the possibility of overuse and dependence bygeneration D to the internet.
There is an excess of greatly addictive content accessible to theinternet generation. The content is not exceptional to the internet.The figures of individuals requiring clinical treatment demonstratethat the mainly addictive factors of the internet include onlinegaming or video and sexual material (Leung, 2004). Abuse of bothcontents is not advent or restricted to using the internet. However,when evaluating such online content, a synergistic procedure happenswhere the addictive possibility of the content areas is enhancing.Accessing content online and via different digital media platformsessentially becomes the psychoactive raw material for dependence ononline activity (Leung, 2004). The internet comprises ofaddiction-enhancing properties and material accessed through theinternet is interesting and attractive. Frequent contents consumedinvolve sports, music, news, shopping, sexual material, gambling andgames among others (Leung, 2004). Through smart phones and homecomputers, teenagers and young adults are able to easily access suchcontent and at will.
With the emergent and widespread internet technology, the capabilityto access simply content online has improved the addictivepossibility notably. Generation D users are technologically wellinformed and mindful of all the material they can get by using theinternet. Content acts as the raw material while the internet mediumbecomes the psychological syringe delivering material to the nervousstructure for consumption. The internet is exceptional due to itseffective and immediate input into the nervous system and mind.Currently, following the emergence and spread of high-speedconnections, as well as mobile internet gadgets like smart phones,tabloids, iPhone among others, access has enhanced. Even iPods anddiverse MP3 players currently have internet connected (Leung, 2004).The apparent accessibility at ease from any region makes the userpart of the network. Individuals have factually become nodes on awide distant network structure, which is currently itinerant andmoveable. The mobility derives from the user’s longing to have easeand a feeling of autonomy, which is a common characteristic ofgeneration D. The desire creates the delusion that more admittanceand opportunity results in an improved and content lifestyle (Leung,2004). However, this is merely a paradox, as an increase inalternatives enhances the perils of becoming unhealthy.
The presence and array of beforehand unattainable, unlawful ordifficult to find material increased the internet’s charm to agreat extreme. For generation D, being able to get what they want,specifically when difficult to access with authorization, like sexualcontent, is completely intoxicating. Additionally, the lack ofsatisfaction holdup in the capability of accessing potent materialresults in the compelling nature of the internet. Significantly, weknow when accessing material online, parents or guardians areincapable of tracing the material accessed by their children. This isbecause they are either not technology knowledgeable like thegeneration D, or are unable to traverse the anonymity linked tointernet accessed content. Hence, such cases increase access to allforms of internet content for generation D, resulting in addiction.
The internet connects and isolates people socially. Internet usersare able to modify their extent of social relations in a manner,which increases comfort while at the same time mediating connection(Frascella et al, 2010). It also reduces social nervousness andrestricting comfort required in social related signals. For thedependent internet users, who are in high school and young adults,the internet acts like a simple manner of taking part in a properlyregulated social surrounding with minimal requirement for actual-timesocial association. The internet breaks down as well as makes simplerthe social-emotional intellect signals required to an advancedinteraction phase. For many dependents, it reduces and eases theamount of concentration, communication, emotional peril, and personallink required in social associations (Frascella et al, 2010). Topersons with ADHD, learning disorders, social nervousness, growthdisorders and phobias, use of the internet acts as a secure, knowablesurrounding. It holds concentration availing unlimited newstimulation, reduces real-time social communication and availslimitless fortification hence, rewards (Frascella et al, 2010). Thisexplains why internet dependents find it difficult to altersomething, which is extremely interesting as well as adaptive.
Notably, it is possible to employ the internet and digital media ina constructive manner. These involve social networking, playingonline games, texting, electronic mails and surfing among other uses.The ICT-Services for Media Addiction, Prevention and Treatmentis an internet-addiction treatment organization in Finland, whichemploys the very technology in treating the addiction (Frascella etal, 2010). The organization employs texting, social media and theinternet to help teenagers learn how to control their use andoveruse. The utilization of the addictive technology in treatmentderives from the fact that internet technology is the majorinteractions channel for generation D. Digital interactionsmodalities have turned into the rule for many youths, and whenproperly managed, it can become less addictive and progress to becomea part of current social communication.
Previously, there has been no technology, which links us sociallywhereas at the same time isolating. It is the initial time that thecapability to express and publicize each other is possible for thoseconnected to the internet (Frascella et al, 2010). The skill topublicize oneself, depicted through blogs and YouTube, is excitingand avails broadcast capability to all. Every individual’s fewminutes of recognition is widening exponentially, with adoption beinghigh amid generation D. The availability of social media sites backsthe possibility to effectively network socially through twitter,Facebook, MySpace and different media platforms, which enable peopleto communicate online (Frascella et al, 2010). The sites back thesocial effectiveness of the internet and depict some of theinternet’s major strengths in its capability to effectively filterand improve social association instantly. Remarkably, there areapparent disadvantages of such effectiveness because socialnetworking results in addiction and consumes a lot of time.Additionally, the kind of social communication achieved onlinediffers from real-time social communication and might not avail thesimilar positive and healthy merits of one-on-one interaction.
Extra social factors involve the wide array of tolerability andpresence of digital media technology in society. There is apopularity of personalized computers, notebooks, digital tools thatcan be carried from one place to another like mobile phones, andlaptops. The technologies are ingrain into the social framework ofall persons below 30 years (Frascella et al, 2010). Internet-readytools as mobile phones communicate to the normalization of thewidespread internet technology culture. If an individual desired tobecome part of the conventional, they ought to link to the internet.The social pressure to use the internet is not easy to disregard.Most of our age mates, colleagues, instructors and older peopleharbor expectations for individuals to ensure reliable availability,and amid generation D culture, owning a mobile phone and accessingthe internet is a major expectation from peers.
In the past, it was acceptable that persons access their electronicmail in the comfort of their homes and places of employment. Theexpectation has currently widened to involve the mobile andaccessible electronic email and different information (Frascella etal, 2010). People are now supposed to access electronic mailsanywhere and regardless of the time. The expectations result in anenhancement in psycho-physiological stressors, as well as gravelycontributing to the possibility of internet addiction. Due to theprogressive untethering of wired computers towards wirelesstechnology, employers and societal pressure will compel individualsto be connected to the internet at all times. Research depicts thatsocial factors are a contributing aspect in the growth of internetaddiction (Frascella et al, 2010). A major aspect is the intrinsichuman longing to bond socially. Human beings are social creaturesattracted to social communication, which is the requirement toconnect as well as converse, hardwired in people’s biology. Alltypes of internet, as well as digital technology are part of anonline extension of the natural inclination.
The capability to instantly message, post a picture on social mediaor email might not be challenging (Swanson, 2014). The adventtechnologies have essentially altered phone conversations, meetingwith allies in public places like malls, for generation D. Thesensitive question appears to delve on what is regarded as internetoveruse. Most people involving instructors, parents, guardians andcouples question. The response lies in the eventual effect on thegeneral steadiness and life quality. People rarely seek treatmentexcept when there is damaging aftermaths in one of the main areas oflife. Frequently, a first time negative aftermath is a substantialviolation or negative effect on fundamental associations, a drop inacademic or work performance.
Internet technology functions on a variable ratio reinforcementschedule, VRRS. All information features available online happenin the milieu of the VRRS surrounding (Subrahmanyam & Šmahel,2011). The internet functions with a great level of uncertainty andoriginality. Its unpredictable nature eases the coercingattractiveness of using the internet. The reward/ reinforcementfactor appears as the most relevant aspect in enhancing thedependency nature of the internet, as well as different digitaltools. The internet works on a VRRS, be it in emailing, surfing,playing games among other actions, which all back unforeseeable andinconsistent reward systems (Subrahmanyam & Šmahel, 2011). Thesaliency and appeal of target online material, time and speed ofaccessing the information influence the addictive familiarity to thematerial. There seem to be many synergistic aspects, which take placewhen the VRRS is merged with mood-improving or triggering material,additionally strengthening addiction. What make the internetaddictive are the psychoactive features. Apparent in allreinforcement structures are the derivative benefits arising from arecurrent gratification sequence like internet dependence andcompulsively using media (Subrahmanyam & Šmahel, 2011).Derivative benefits are the features of indirect gain, which act toenhance the addictive sequence, increasing dopamine. The derivativesmight be through avoiding nervous intriguing social communication, oreffortful academic performance. They might also become apparent viaenhanced social standing in an online gaming group.
Most appealing internet features function on an inconsistent ratioreinforcement plan. In a research conducted by Young (1998), hediscovered the resemblance amid gambling and excessive use of theinternet. Hence, the conclusion that appealing internet experiencesfunction in a surrounding where irregular levels of reinforcement arethe norm. An appealing charge is obtained through an irregularfrequency and salience. The appeal is derived through clicking oncontent, as a result getting the wanted content as feedback. The hitscannot be predicted, are alternating and of differing saliency. Themerging of impulsive content pleasure and the VRRS make the internetaddictive (Subrahmanyam & Šmahel, 2011). Even fundamentalinternet modalities like electronic mail perform under the strongreinforcement plan. For instance, it is impossible to tell if theemail will be sent as a reminder to pay bills, or junk. The VRRS isgreatly defiant to disappearance, and since the internet often availsinconsistent rewards, the disappearance resistance enhancesaddiction. Every moment spent surfing, online gaming, textingchatting or posting invokes the major reinforcement rule.
Merging the reinforcement structure with greatly intriguing contentapparent in online games or pornography may possibly result in morepositive charge, as well as resisting disappearance hence, enhancingaddiction. It seems that synergistic communication happens where theauthority of content and the internet procedure are thus intensified.Greenfield (1999) describes two kinds of internet dependents, primaryand secondary, by referring to sex. The primary kind comprises of asexually compulsive sequence of conduct, which predates internet usefor attaining sexual gratification. The internet becomes a mannerthrough which a more effective and prompt sexual stimulation andgratification series is attained. The internet-enabled sequencefrequently forms an enhanced growth of compulsive sexual conduct. Thesynergistic procedure where the arousing sexual material is improvedvia the psychoactive internet medium nature.
In the secondary kind, there is frequently no previous past ofcompulsive sexual conduct, though the growth of the compulsivesequence appears to instigate almost along with the internetemergence. It is though a natural trigger cycle sparks, frequentlyderiving from inquisitiveness, sexual longing, and simplicity ofaccessing content anonymously (Subrahmanyam & Šmahel, 2011).The secondary kind compulsion does not happen due to a previous pastof sexual addiction. The internet seems to trigger an unreservedprocedure backing the addictive sequence. In such instances, theinternet procedure appears to reduce the threshold for specificpeople to produce a challenge that they possibly could not havedeveloped if there was no internet. This acts as the internet’sstrongpoint and weakness, because the immediacy of satisfaction mayaffect one’s capability to stop desires that had been managedbefore.
4.4.5Availability/process and access factors
Multi-user games that employ the internet to facilitate socialgaming interactivity seem more addictive due to utilizing theinternet platform. The array of online games add extra attractiveaspects of social communication, real-time competing, confront,achievement, social order and triggering content, in line with ahighly intricate variable rewards plan (Subrahmanyam & Šmahel,2011). Gaming content may be rather intriguing and addicting, thoughwhen merged with internet modality its synergetic impact appears toreduce in an enhanced addictive feeling. The internet functions via agreat level of uncertainty easing its addictiveness. Most internetutilization happens subconsciously. It is the mechanized utilization,which backs an important level of time alteration and losingoneself’s awareness when using the net. Research depicts that 80%of persons that employ the internet are incapable of tracking theirtime and online space (Suler, 2004). Internet dependents seem to feelreduced inhibition when communicating digitally, while 8.2% employthe internet as a manner of escaping challenges or relieving negativefeelings (Suler, 2004). The disinhibition influence additionallybacks the psychoactive nature of the internet. People that accesssexual material, play online games or shop may have an enhanced levelof disinhibition, as well as impulsivity when using the internetmodality, contrasted to different modalities.
Three major aspects appear to explain the internet addictioninconsistency. One is process factors, which entails affordability(Subrahmanyam & Šmahel, 2011). The internet is unrestricted andthe brain appears to like the capability of getting what seems free,without space and time limitations. In addition, the aspects includedin internet interactivity enhance its charm. The second aspect isperceived ambiguity (Subrahmanyam & Šmahel, 2011). It is thethought of ambiguity when accessing information online, which aidsdisinhibition. It is specifically the case in access of sexualmaterial, online gaming and gambling. Disinhibition is as well asaspect in electronic mailing, chatting, and texting among otherinteractions (Suler, 2004). There is minimal limitation ofself-consciousness digital interaction than in verbal modality.Psychology studies depict that disinhibition can happen provided thebrain is involved neuro-psychologically, which is what takes placewhen interacting online. This is because compulsive internetemployment is working in an interfered state of alertness. Inaddition, the capability of accessing undisclosed factors ofindividual qualities, which are not usually reachable, seems to havegreat dependence easing impacts. Daydreaming and role-playing throughthe net are greatly attractive specifically chatting online, gamblingas well as social media communication (Suler, 2004). An extra areafalling under process factors is significant minimal expense ofaccessing digital media material. Access improves through the minimalexpense, in turn reducing the threshold to utilizing and overusingthe internet. Cheap things are simple to exploit.
It is not possible to discuss access, as well as availabilityaspects by not including convenience as a factor. Due to adoptingtransferable and mobile broadband, internet is readily available.Digital media gadgets are easy to carry around facilitatingconnection to the internet at will (Toronto, 2009). The capability toimmediately get content and satisfy any logical, interaction orconsumer longings anonymously makes it difficult to ignore using thenet. It specifically applies to sexual material. The internet placesno restrictions in crossing the barrier between viewing anddownloading due to minimal responsibility involved when online(Toronto, 2009). The level of restrain, which one may generally havein ensuring a craving is avoided is impossible when online. To theinternet addict, distortion of reality seems like a desirable result,because it backs the fantasy experience via the net’s virtualinterface. For internet dependents, it is possible to see virtualreality as suitable living. It is specifically correct for onlinegamers as distortion aids a general feeling of denial, impeding thedependent’s capability to detect any negative effect.
Boundaries are another access/availability construct. There are norestrictions when accessing the internet (Toronto, 2009). Differentmedia forms have disconnected entry and exit. There exist markers fortime spent online or content restriction in magazines, books andnewspapers among other media, which is not online. Contrary, whenonline, it is possible to get information of any context regardlessof age and time. Hence, many young people are able to search anddownload content, like pornography, which is normally prohibited. Inaddition, is the excess of information online, and it appears thatnew content is posted daily. There is ever a new link, site, messageto view or video. The endless accessibility signifies unfinished workto the brain, and is undeniable. The brain has a habit to progresstoward finishing all duties. The unaware concentration to incompletecontent becomes addictive thus, making users depend on the internet.
5Treatment for Internet Addiction in Generation D5.1Assessment of Internet Addiction
Considering the widespread use of the internet, precise diagnosis ofthe addiction is frequently hard because its lawful business, as wellas individual applications cover addictive conduct. The perfectapproach in clinically measuring excessive internet use involvescomparing it to criteria for indepthly-studied addictions, likealcohol and drugs. Studies have compared internet addiction to havesimilar conditions as impulse-control addictions basing on the AxisI Scale of DSM, and used several forms of DSM-IV foundedcriteria in defining internet addiction (Young, 2007). In all thereferences found in the DSM, excessive gambling appears most close tointernet addiction. The Internet Addiction DiagnosticQuestionnaire (IADQ), was created as the initial screeningtool used in detecting in academic study and treatment situations.Individuals are said to have an internet dependency after respondingpositively to at least five questions. Diagnosis is also establishedwhen it is difficult to account for conduct via a Manic Episode.
Clinical research supposes the limit of five resembles the figure ofcriteria employed in compulsive gambling (Young, 2007). Additionally,it is viewed as a thorough criteria cutoff, 5 out of 8, thanthat employed in diagnosing excessive gambling, 5 out of 10(Young, 2007). It is necessary to realize that whereas the scaleavails a working calculation of pathological use of the internet,more research is required in validating its construct legitimacy andclinical efficacy. Dependents experience lack of sleep and overallphysical problems regarded to be linked traits of internet addiction.Alterations in usual sleeping behavior arise from login in to maybesocial media at night, since dependents seem to sleep late. Sleepdeprivation and tiredness are general signs of pathological onlineconduct. Amusingly, most addicts may consume caffeine drugs to remainawake and attentive for more time to stay online. Other complicationsinvolve back pains, straining the eyes, recurrent stress and carpaltunnel syndrome.
Diagnosing uncontrollable internet use if intricate, contrary tochemical addiction, the internet provides various direct gains as anadvent technology in our culture, making it a development that shouldnot be compulsive. People can research, do businesses, accessinformation from diverse sources, interact with workmates or family,and plan trips. Research has been compiled narrating both functioningand psychological advantages of internet technology (Young, 2007). Incomparison, drugs or alcohol lack any immediate advantages. However,there are numerous practical applications of the internet, resultingin the concealing of its addictive nature. Co-morbidity withdifferent psychiatric situations is widespread amid compellingdisorders impeding the real perception, which a patient mightexperience from an internet-linked issue. Despite the increase inself-referrals for compulsive internet use, frequently, patients theillness is not pathological internet employment (Young, 2007).Clinical depression, obsessive compulsion, nervousness, or bi-polarare normally the noticeable conditions. It is later that theindividual providing treatment detects internet addiction signs.Hence, using clinical interview to detect the addiction is intricate.
Intake evaluations are inclusive and cover pertinent disorders forpsychiatric cases, as well as compulsive disorders. Conversely, dueto the emergence of internet addiction as a disorder, its signs maynot be apparent during the first clinical meeting. Hence, it isnecessary that clinicians screen the availability of excessive use.The Internet Addiction Test (IAT) is an approved tool fordetecting the dependence (Young, 2007). It comprises of psychometriccomponents depicting its dependability and correct measure, which hasbeen employed in more study on internet dependence. The testdetermines the extreme of an individual’s engagement with computerand categorizes the addictive conduct in reference to mild,moderate and severe impairment. It is possible to use IAT amidout and in patient cases and taken up therefore to suit the desiresof clinical setting.
5.2Treatment 5.2.1Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, CBT
CBT is founded on the assumption that thinking influences feelings.Generally, patients are shown how to check their thinking anddetermine what triggers compulsive feelings and behavior. At the sametime, they learn new adapting skills and manners of preventingrelapse. CBT normally mandates 3months for treatment or close to 12weeks of session (Young, 2011). With internet dependents, is theproposition that the initial therapy phases need to be behavioral,concentrating on particular conducts and conditions where the desirecontrol disorder results in the most intricacy. As therapy advances,the concentration is on cognitive presumptions and alterations, whichhave developed, as well as their influence on conduct. When employed,methods include assessing the kind of alteration, problem-solvingtechniques and coping methods instruction, therapeutic models,support groups and perception evaluation (Young, 2011). In compulsiveinternet use, avoidance recovery is impractical as digital technologyis an overriding part of life. Clinicians accept that moderation andregulation is more suitable in treating the addiction. Behaviortherapy needs to evaluate computer and non-computer conduct. Computerconduct tackles precise online activity, with a basic objective ofavoiding addictive applications whereas maintaining regulatedcomputer utilization for correct reasons. For instance, a lawyer thatis addicted to sexual content will learn to avoid pornographicwebsites, yet still use the internet to send electronic mail tocustomers (Young, 2011). Non-computer conduct concentrates onassisting patients grow positive lifestyle alterations by livingwithout using the internet. Life actions, which do not entail thecomputer are assessed and might involve actions linked with socialand occupational performance.
Research demonstrates that online addicts experience displacementand inability to control key factors of their lives due to thedeveloping preoccupation with online application (Young, 2011).Addicts start missing relevant work and school deadlines, minimaltime is dedicated to family, and gradually withdraw from day to dayroutine. Addicts also abandon social ties with allies, colleagues andsociety. As the addiction develops, online addicts are engulfed withtheir online actions, opting to chat, surf, play games or gambleinstead of mingle. Thus, online time management is a relevantobjective of behavior therapy. Cognitive therapy is as well employedin line with maladaptive perceptions frequently linked withcompelling conduct. Addictions attain something to individualsregardless of the short-lived gains (Young, 2011). Due to thesatisfaction, which individuals generate from addictions, they startto act intensely. For instance, a drug addict is often driven to takedrugs when excessively stressed. The compelling conducts acts byminimizing the fundamental emotional anxiety as reward for prospectconduct. Similarly, studies depict that internet dependents usedigital technology to relieve themselves of stress (Young, 2011).Hence, the internet acts as a psychological escape for dealing withchallenges.
Considering the dynamics apparent in internet addiction, CBT acts asa perfect therapeutic structure for treating the addiction. There arethree CBT phases. The initial phase is behavior modification, whichinvolves having a particular objective oriented program, which alterscomputer conduct for healthy using of computers during the initialrecovery stages (Young, 2011). The intervention commences with anevaluation of the addict’s present internet application. Aday-to-day internet log may be employed in assessing computer conductto determine a basis for treatment. With the unending presence of theinternet, it is necessary to create an apparent and orderly recoveryplan. Concentration should be on completing an evaluation of theclient as they use digital media to assist in validating internetactions, conditions and feelings, which are most probable to activateonline binges. The client’s mood prior to login in to maybe socialmedia may act as a trigger resulting in unsuitable behavior. Toassist in determining the triggers, a Daily Internet Logapplies in tracking when and manner computers are used (Young, 2011).Using feedback from activity logs, clinicians assess the number ofhours of internet use. The feedback is important in introducinginterventions to change computer use amid clients, like initiatingcomputer use breaks during periods when clients log in.
The second phase is cognitive restructuring tackling the maladaptivecognitions, which work as triggers initiating compulsive conduct(Young, 2011). The cognitions include overgeneralization, selectiongeneralization, magnifying issues or personification linked tocompelling internet use. For example, some dependents experiencedistorted perception of self including cogitation and excessself-ideas that support online self, like feeling worthless whenoffline. When an individual playing online games forms and regulatesan avatar, they may suppose their offline life is not interestingresulting in an increase on psychological reliance to play onlinegames, as a manner of enhancing self worth (Young, 2011). Internetaddicts might develop cognitive prejudices permitting theirinvolvement in using the internet. CBT employs cognitiverestructuring in breaking such perceptions. Restructuring assists inplacing the addicts’ perception under scrutiny through challengingthem to script again negative thinking. Hence, CBT assists clientscomprehend their internet use as avoidance of feelings. Restructuringwill ensure that patients become aware of distortions and ways ofstopping negative self-perception, without depending on the internet.
Harm reduction is the third phase employed in determining andtackling any coexisting aspects linked with the growth of digitalmedia dependence. The aspects may involve individual, social,occupational, or psychiatric (Young, 2011). Frequently, addictswrongly presume that halting the conduct is proof of ending anaddiction. However, complete recovery entails a lot more as itincludes assessing the underlying matters, which resulted in thecompelling conduct and solving the issues in healthy ways to preventrelapse (Young, 2011). Internet addiction frequently derives fromdifferent emotional or conditional challenges like nervousness,relationship problems, depression or academic issues. Though theinternet provides a suitable diversion from the challenges, less isdone in assisting clients deal with matters resulting in addiction.Harm reduction is founded on the thought that substance abuse as wellas addiction develop in persons via an exceptional association ofsocial, biological and psychological aspects (Young, 2011).
The therapy tackles the intricate association, which individualscreate by using psychoactive substances. Issues relating to drug andalcohol overuse are tackled in line with their social andoccupational effects. The same approach is utilized to addresscoexisting matters in the dependent’s life. The internet isolatesindividuals from their challenges for a short period. Harm reductionstarts by identifying and treating basic psychiatric matters thatfunction together with excessive internet use. The therapy insists onaddicts’ strengths and capability to alter behavior as a beginningpoint. The client is informed of the issues resulting in internetaddiction and how to solve the issues. It is by reducing other lifestressors that addicts will be able to reduce dependence on theinternet.
In a brain functional imaging research, results demonstrate that thedesire to play online games shares the similar neurobiologicalmechanism with drug and alcohol overuse (Huang, Li & Tao, 2010).This results in the conclusion that pharmacotherapy applicableagainst one kind of addictive conduct could also treat differentkinds of addiction. To evaluate the probable effectiveness ofpharmacotherapy in treating compulsive internet use, the detection ofparticular dysfunctions happening in clients’ brains assists inconceiving a biological foundation for pharmacological treatment.Research on functional magnetic resonance imaging fMRI inaddict teenagers contrasted to healthy ones, notes that addicts haveenhanced synchronization amid the cerebellum, frontal cortex,brainstem and limbic lobe (Huang, Li & Tao, 2010). This depicts apossible engagement of the reward structure. In a differentneuroimaging research, addiction to online games results inactivation of brain parts. The overlap amid internet addiction anddifferent behavior and substance dependencies depicts the presence ofa common psychopathological structure, which may direct treatment andstudies. Results from behavior or substance abuse studies demonstratethe effectiveness of pharmacotherapy in clinically managing internetaddiction (Huang, Li & Tao, 2010).
Employing antidepressant drugs might be encouraged by proof of theaminergic structures’ function in suppressing inhibitory reactions.In addition, is the regulation of compulsive recurrence andinformation demonstrating a great lifetime prevalence of depressionamid internet dependents. Clinical research has proposed a closeassociation amid serotonergic dysregulation, signs ofobsessive-compulsion and impulsivity, where serotonergic medicine isnoted to work (Huang, Li & Tao, 2010). Antidepressants work byreducing the craving compelling people to access the internet.However, the anti-craving properties in the antidepressants need tobe assessed in regulated scenarios and over a long period of use. Inreference to observations derived from different conditions,antidepressants are just effective for a short period. Usingantidepressants for a prolonged period may result in mood swings, yetcompulsive internet users are susceptible to unexplained mood changes(Huang, Li & Tao, 2010). Antidepressants are just effective forshort-term treatment of addictions because when used for a long timethey stop becoming effective posing possibilities of relapse. Relapsearises following enhanced impulsivity that is typical ofuncontrollable moods.
Possible utilization of mood stabilizers might be validated bycomparisons amid mood disorder within the bipolar spectrum andcompulsive internet use. Lithium and anticonvulsants havetriumphantly treated several impulsive disorders (Huang, Li &Tao, 2010). Similarly, in clients experiencing substance abuse,valproate seems as an effective medication due to its anti-cravingproperty. In addition, there is proof depicting the substantialeffectiveness of mood stabilizers in treating excessive onlinegambling (Huang, Li & Tao, 2010). Presently, the efficiency ofmood stabilizers in treating compulsive internet application isunexplored, though it is a promising treatment drug. The use ofantipsychotic drugs relates to their properties regardingobsessive-compulsive spectrum, as well as their efficacy in treatingresistant addictions. Antipsychotics comprise of a serotonergicproperty, which when augmented with characteristic antipsychoticsappears to be strongly effective in treating resistantobsessive-compulsive disorder. The drugs minimize impulsivity andthrough targeting impulsivity in internet addicts, it is possiblethat treatment for the disorder will be achieved.
Etiologic family aspects, as well as therapeutic issues underlyinginternet dependency make family therapy important. Young (1998)supposes that when treating adolescent addicts, it is necessary toinform the whole family on manners they can employ in assistingfamily members that are addicts. It might involve providingcounseling for family members, instruction linked to internetaddiction, coping methods with frustration, comprehending therecovery procedure, triggers causing relapse and significance ofensuring healthy boundaries. Aspects of family therapy areincorporated in multimodal treatment research (Huang, Li & Tao,2010). Parent instruction and training may cover issues likeimproving internet addiction perception, ability to detect theirchild’s emotions, how to communicate with addicts and comprehendingthe psychological growth procedure of youths among others. Since inmost instances, the addicts are young adults that access the internetwhile at home, it is important for parents to be able to determinewhether the behavior is addictive or not. Parents will also play acrucial role in ensuring outpatient success of internet addictiontreatment. This involves ensuring that teenagers do not experiencemood swings that trigger them to use the internet excessively. Forinstance, parents may plan retreats with their children and theirfriends, which encourages real-time communication instead of onlinecommunication.
5.2.4 Reality Therapy
Reality therapy, as a possible treatment alternative for internetaddiction is founded on choice and control models. The supposition isthat individuals are accountable for their lives, which implies whatto do, feel and perceive. For example, the theory argues thatindividuals do not get angry, but opt to become angry (Huang, Li &Tao, 2010). In the similar manner, when one becomes dependent on theinternet, it is an option that they make. It is hard to alterdirectly individual feelings or physiology from action andperception. Conversely, it is possible to alter thinking despite thefeelings. As a result, the key to altering conduct depends onselecting how to act and think. To review the success of realitytherapy in treating internet addiction, learners were grouped intreatment and control groups (Huang, Li & Tao, 2010). Thetreatment group was exposed to reality therapy counseling and thecontrol group got no treatment. Following sessions, it was apparentthat dependency reduced amid learners in the treatment group. Thegroup was also able to improve their self-worth, which greatlyinfluences the ability to interact socially without depending on theinternet (Huang, Li & Tao, 2010). This demonstrates that realitytherapy may be effective in helping addicts solve problems that pushthem to employ digital media excessively.
The development of digital media has greatly changed how peoplecommunicate, act and associate. Digital technology connects people bytraversing time and geographic restrictions. It is irrefutable thatthe internet has improved communication, made it easy to accessinformation, improved work and academic performance. However, thevery benefits and internet that people have become dependent on hasresulted in internet addiction disorder. Generation D refers to ageneration of young person’s brought up in the technologicallyadvanced world. These are individuals that have the capability toaccess the internet through their smart phones, home computers,iPhones among other digital technologies. In addition, the inventionof social media sites, which have millions of users make it possiblefor people to interact online. Most of the active users in thesesites are teenagers and young adults, who must often check theirFacebook pages, tweet, surf and post comments. Internet addiction isenhanced by the fact that it is easily accessible and fast.Technology progresses to establish manners of enhancing internetconnectivity. For instance, with a smart phone, one does not requirea laptop to hook up to the internet as the phone in internet enabled.In prospect, internet and digital media use will most probablyenhance. Research needs to focus more on treatment methods thatguarantee treatment of the disorder.
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