Are you worried that your teenager might be addicted to the internet? Since teen internet addiction is so common and can potentially stunt growth, it’s important to catch it as soon as possible. But since almost every teenager in the country uses the internet, how can you tell the difference between regular use and internet addiction? Keep reading to learn about some of the symptoms and warning signs of teen internet addiction.
What Is Internet Addiction?
The internet can connect individuals and make information more accessible. But for the evolving minds of teenagers, this resource could be potentially harmful and cause internet addiction, which is a type of behavioral addiction. When someone has an internet addiction, it means that they excessively use the internet on a computer, tablet, or cell phone. They may use these devices as an escape when they are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or upset. Individuals with depression or anxiety or more likely to develop an internet addiction. Different types of internet addiction include information overload, gaming addiction, cybersex addiction, and cyber-relationship addiction.
Why Internet Addiction Is So Common In Teens
Internet addiction is mostly common among young people, such as teenagers. So why is this age group so susceptible to this condition? First, the internet is right at their fingertips. Everyone around them is posting on social media, buying things online, and playing games on their computers and phones. To fully immerse themselves in the environment that is middle school or high school, students will often participate in activities that involve the internet.
Also, many teenagers may have an internet addiction because they feel like they have a lack of emotional support. When they use the internet, they can connect with individuals in a way that they may not be able to in person. They may also use this tool to get lost in an online world that takes them away from reality.
Signs & Symptoms of Teen Internet Addiction
If your child frequently uses the internet and you think they might have an addiction, you should look out for the following signs and symptoms. A teen who is addicted to the internet might:
- Have frequent feelings of guilt about their addiction
- Have fewer interactions with family members and friends
- Be dishonest or untruthful about their habits
- Experience euphoric feelings when using the internet
- Be unable to uphold schedules or routines
- Have a poor sense of timing/time management
- Get defensive when approached about internet use
Individuals with an internet addiction may also endure physical symptoms like backaches, headaches, weight changes, sleep disturbances, Carpal Tunnel syndrome, and strained or impaired vision.
Internet Addiction Treatment Methods
Since internet addictions typically stem from mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety, teenagers will probably receive treatment to treat the underlying cause of the addiction. These treatment methods may include medications like antidepressants and anti-anxiety drugs. Specific medications, such as escitalopram, have actually proved to be successful in treating internet addiction. Individuals who are struggling with this addiction may also benefit from one-on-one therapy, which will help them develop coping techniques that don’t involve the internet.
To learn more about internet addiction in teenagers, contact our team of addiction treatment representatives by calling us at 866-345-2147.