Although internet addiction is not currently recognised as a formal mental health disorder in Australia, American authorities have begun documenting and classifying the condition, and there is no doubt that some internet users exhibit symptoms of addiction not unlike those of people addicted to drugs, alcohol or gambling.

The most common sorts of internet addiction concern:

Pornography addiction or porn addiction

This behaviour has a lot of symptoms in common with Sex Addiction (link to seperate page).

Online gambling / online gaming addiction

This behaviour has a lot of symptoms in common with mainstream Gambling Addiction (link to seperate page).

Counselling professionals are seeing large numbers of people who report problems with internet addiction. Many of these people seem to be benefitting from counselling treatment drawing on methods used commonly by counsellors & psychologists for other compulsions in mainstream addiction therapy.
(This article is electronically protected – Copyright © Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney PTY LTD)

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Common symptoms of internet addiction

Symptoms that could point to internet addiction include:

• Using the internet more, and for much longer than originally intended.
• Obsession or preoccupation with the internet when not online.
• Losing control over the ability to walk away from the computer.
• Depression or moodiness when not (able to be) online.
• Lying and dishonest behaviour to hide internet use from friends, family or employers.
• Creation of internet-based relationships which eclipse or damage real relationships with friends and family.
• Looking for ever more exciting content on the internet and chasing a high, be it pornographic or gambling related, related to gaming achievements or work.

Popular content for internet addiction

The types of internet sites visited tend to be related to either:

• internet pornography or sex sites,
• chat rooms including adult dating and adult chat rooms,
• gambling websites including online poker rooms and other betting sites,
• online gaming including multiplayer virtual worlds,
• stock-market, finance, business related website including online trading,
• business related websites including those commonly used in one’s daily work regime.

When a person essentially feels happier or more fulfilled online that in life, or when internet usage damages that persons life, career or relationships, it is possible that internet addiction is a real problem. Counselling therapy when provided by a professional counsellor, psychologist or psychotherapist can help explain and resolve the issues underlying a person’s desire to withdraw from life through the internet.

To enquire about professional counselling by qualified Counsellors & Psychologists in Sydney call Associated Counsellors & Psychologists Sydney. We welcome your enquiry.

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