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What Is the Treatment for Computer Addiction?

People who spend long periods of time gaming online may have computer addition.
Computer addiction is a relatively new disease.
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  • Written By: Autumn Rivers
  • Edited By: Angela B.
  • Last Modified Date: 04 August 2014
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Many people use computers every day, whether for work or fun, but some people find it difficult to curb their usage of this kind of technology. Even though computer addiction is a relatively new disease, there are some forms of treatment available. One of the most common types of treatment for computer addiction is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which attempts to change the thoughts associated with excessive use of the computer. Group therapy also is often used to treat people addicted to computers, because it can be helpful to talk to others with the same addiction. Other forms of treatment vary depending on the person, because marriage counseling, in-patient treatment and wilderness therapy also may be helpful for some people.

The typical treatment for computer addiction is cognitive-behavioral therapy, which presents several steps for patients to take as they stop their compulsion. The point of this type of therapy is to change the thoughts that cause the behavior while also helping patients cope with the underlying emotions that may lead to their computer addiction. Cognitive-behavioral therapy often uses exercises to solve the problem, rather than just talk. If underlying disorders are discovered, such as depression or anxiety, they may be treated with therapy, too.

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Another form of treatment for computer addiction is group therapy, in which several people meet regularly to discuss their addiction to the computer. This is often beneficial because the patients can relate to each other better than those who have not suffered this type of addiction. Groups discussing computer addiction may be difficult to find, because not many people have admitted to this disease when compared to drug and alcohol addictions, but patients can start their own group once they meet a few people with a similar issue. In addition, patients can attend groups that focus on other problems that often show up in those who are addicted to computers. For instance, people whose computer addiction stems from depression can find a group that discusses this issue, while those addicted to cybersex may be interested in joining a group about sex addiction.

Some cases of computer addiction require additional treatment to cure related problems. For instance, a marriage that has been tested because of a cybersex addiction may benefit from marriage counseling. Some cases are extreme enough to warrant in-patient treatment for computer addiction, which consists of daily counseling and no access to computers. A unique treatment for computer addiction is wilderness therapy, in which computer addicts attend a program that is based outside, with no access to most technology. The point is to teach participants survival skills, as well as the idea that they can survive without computer access.

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Discuss this Article

burcinc
Post 3

I think I'm addicted to my computer as well. From tomorrow, I'm going to write a to-do list and make myself finish it before I touch the computer. Does anyone have any other ideas for computer addiction recovery?

ddljohn
Post 2

@ZipLine-- Wow, that's great. You're a great example.

I think that can be a solution for some people who have a computer addiction. Another treatment for internet addiction could be to sign up for a limited internet quota. For example, let's say the internet package has 4GB per month and then it automatically turns off when that's up. I think those kind of internet packages are available.

I'm saying this assuming that the person is using the internet though. I'm sure it's possible to have a computer addiction where other programs on the computer are used. So a complete isolation may be necessary in those cases. A friend or family member could confiscate the computer after a certain time frame is up.

ZipLine
Post 1

I treated my computer addiction with wilderness therapy but I did it on my own without help.

I had all the computer addiction symptoms two years ago. I was using a computer almost every minute that I was awake. I used a computer at work and I got on my personal computer as soon as I got home. During the past several months of my addiction, I was also losing sleep time to stay on the computer. When I realized how bad my addiction was, I decided to do something about it. My lease was up so I moved to a new place without an internet connection. I also canceled the internet plan on my phone so I had absolutely no access to internet at home. I had accessed to it at work and that was it.

The first couple of months was very difficult. I felt extremely bored and I didn't know what to do with myself. But then I got used to it. I started watching films and reading. I started hanging out with friends and family more. I even joined a gym.

I lived without internet and computer access at home for one year. After that, I did get a modem but my addiction was gone. Now, my computer use is normal. I basically only use it when I need to and then I turn it off. I feel liberated.

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