The phenomenon of computer and Internet addiction is a relatively new psychological and medical phenomenon that is changing very dynamically, hence the problems associated with the therapy of this disorder.
The nature of the new phenomenon is reflected in the thesis of Dr. Kimberly Young “Technology changes the nature of problems people have, as well as the way we treat them” .
The first significant problem is the dispute in the scientific community regarding the creation of a new, separate diagnostic category for this phenomenon, Guerreschi writes about it in more detail in his work. There has been a proposal from the American Medical Association to add Internet addiction to the fifth version of DSM, which is due in 2012 .
Proponents of this idea pay attention to the possibility of reimbursed treatment, which would allow less well-off people to undergo therapy, in addition, interest in the subject of computer and Internet addiction would increase, which in turn would result in the development of standards of conduct, uniform methods of treatment and the development of facilities, specialists or prevention programs . This argument, however, is refuted by opponents of this approach, who claim that just harmonized patterns of behavior can be harmful in the case of such a complex and diverse phenomenon, which is addiction to the computer and the Internet. They prefer an individual approach to addicts and avoid calling this type of addiction a disease entity . They treat it as a habit of everyday habit . Addiction treatment in Cape Town
Another problem that is worth paying attention to is the reluctance of addicts to undergo treatment. Often these people are aware of their own behavior and the occurrence of the problem, they are ashamed of it because they are aware of how much addiction affects their daily lives and relationships with their loved ones. Addicted people live twice – on the one hand, the opinions of their loved ones count for them, they are afraid of their reaction to what they do online, but on the other hand, they do not want to be deprived of what has become, as it were, an obsession. Therefore, such people do not admit what they do on the computer, it is overwhelming and embarrassing for them .
Therapy of addiction to the computer and the Internet does not assume the elimination of these media from the life of an addicted person and this is a frequent expectation presented by those close to that person. The treatment is to change the way you use the computer and the Internet, and control your time spent in front of the monitor. In addition, solving computer-Internet addiction problems over the Internet is popular in the United States. That is why it is so important to present the exact assumptions of the therapy and its goals so that this time is understood and accepted by the treated person and their family – addiction recovery in South Africa
The next problem may be an accurate diagnosis. Many tests are available to help determine if there is a problem using the computer, but most are based on Dr. K. Young’s 1996 study. It is worth noting that 15 years in the field of technology is a lot – the Internet was not so popular then, there were no virtual bank accounts or “gadu-gadu” accounts. Therefore, all tests available on-line should not be treated as an oracle, the more so because the English translation of the test does not always retain the original message. “What only the first dozen or so years ago the Internet researchers regarded as abuse – today is the norm” . The choice of a specialist who is to help the addicted person plays an important role. In this matter, we encounter another obstacle, which is the limited number of competent people.
To a large extent, addiction therapy centers deal with the problem of computer and Internet addiction and this causes unpleasant associations and reluctance of addicts to undergo treatment. The same happens when a psychologist visits, which is why people affected by addiction are reluctant to seek help. One should remember about the occurrence of co-addiction, which concerns relatives of an addicted person – often a husband or wife. They blame themselves for failing to meet the marriage requirements; that they are not perfect for their spouse, which is why he escapes into the virtual world. They feel worthless and wanting to rectify the situation, contribute to its deterioration . As a result, they are on the verge of collapse and need help. In computer-Internet addiction therapy, it is important to involve the family so that they know what mechanisms are present, what they can expect and how to behave in everyday situations with an addict.
The role of the family is also important for another reason. Namely, the excessive use of the computer usually hides another problem, which is the real cause of addiction. Often it is depression, mental illness, a sense of loneliness and fear of real life.