Is it possible to be addicted to the Internet? Do you spend so much time online that it interferes with your daily life, work and relationships?
Kevin Roberts wrote about his own experience in his book, “Cyber Junkie: Escape the Gaming and Internet Trap.” Roberts says that he used to spend from 8 to 12 hours a day playing video games, and then he would “binge” on Holidays. He eventually sought therapy for what had become an addiction for him.
He is not alone. The Behavioral Health Services at Bradford Regional Medical Center in Pennsylvania has now opened the first inpatient treatment program for those who are severely addicted to the Internet. The program helps patients do a ‘digital detox’ by cutting them off from the Internet for 72 hours. Many experience symptoms of withdrawal similar to drug or alcohol addiction.
Dr. Kimberly Young, psychologist and founder of the non-profit program, says: “[Internet addiction] is a problem in this country that can be more pervasive than alcoholism. The Internet is free, legal and fat free.”