We hear a lot about drug and alcohol addiction, but people can become addicted to a variety of different things. Internet and video game addiction rates are rising…and can be a serious problem among those who fall victim to these particular types of dependency. Addiction is addiction, no matter what kind of “substance” someone falls victim to. For those addicted to the internet or video games, life can mean little when they’re disconnected from the screen.
It’s estimated that 1 in 8 Americans has some kind of problem with excessive internet use. In China, Korea, and Taiwan it’s thought that some 30 percent of the entire population experiences internet addiction. As the internet continues to dominate almost every part of our lives, these numbers are only suspected to rise.
What is Internet Addiction?
For those that suffer from internet addiction, the internet is something that completely takes over their life. Just like other addictions, people addicted to the internet develop a “relationship” with the internet, one that completely takes over everything else in their lives. Internet addiction can ruin relationships with friends and family and interfere with work or school.
In internet addiction, it’s the internet itself that offers the “high” someone’s looking for. When people addicted to the internet get online, the pleasure center of their brain lights up (the same as in drug and alcohol addiction) and they feel good. When they can’t use the internet as they please, and are possibly restricted from it in some way, they may feel anxious, depressed, irritable, and angry.
While the most popular types of internet addiction are sexting and online sex addiction, social media addiction is also something that continues to grow. Perhaps this has to do with the anonymity people find online. Regardless of who they “really are” the internet offers equal ground for all, which isn’t often found in real life.
Video Game Addiction
One of the fastest growing addictions on the internet is found in video games. Video game addiction is thought to affect some 1 in 10 people ages 8-18. Of the 88 percent of young people that play video games in America, it’s estimated that some 3 million of them show addictive behavior. Kids and teens aren’t the only ones that can become addicted to video games though. Adults in their 20s, 30s, 40s, and 50s are all also susceptible to video game addiction…and it’s something among many of adult gamers that has become a real problem.
Take a video game away from the person addicted to playing it, and you’re going to have one (very) upset individual. Severe withdrawal symptoms have been seen in video game addicts including anger, violence, and depression. Children addicted to video games, when denied their pleasure, have been noted to cry, refuse to eat, sleep, or do anything else until they get their game back.
As with some other addictions, gaming can increase the dopamine levels in one’s mind. While this is one aspect of the gaming addiction, there is (like with addiction to drugs and alcohol) a psychological aspect of video game addiction as well. It allows that escape so many are looking for…and in the process, makes life feel better. The video game addict who plays for 12 hours a day is no different from the addict who is using cocaine or drinking a bottles of alcohol. It makes them feel better. Why then, would they ever want to stop?
Too much gaming can ruin people’s lives. Children addicted to video games can miss out on social interaction and do poorly in school. They may forgo physical activity because of gaming and become extremely unhealthy. This all takes away from normal social development, where the 12-year-old boy is suddenly a 21-year-old adult without goals in life or social skills. As for adults addicted to video games, their dependency can ruin relationships and get in the way of job performance. For the serious adult gaming addict, complete job loss is often inevitable.
Getting Treatment for Internet and Video Game Addiction
As the number of people addicted to the internet and video games continues to rise, there are becoming more treatment options available. There are rehab centers for internet addiction popping up all over the world, and video game addiction treatment programs are also becoming more widespread.
For those looking for an alternative option to internet and video addiction centers, Ibogaine can offer insight into life while also treating many of the aspects of the addiction. Unprecedented for its ability to help with heroin and other drug addictions, Ibogaine has actually been used to treat several different addictions…internet and video game included.
Perhaps it’s the way Ibogaine leads a person within themselves that makes it possible to treat addiction to the internet and video games. Ibogaine has the potential to show an individual the parts of themselves that are hiding behind the addiction, and what must be healed within them to quit covering up their problems with their addiction.
If you or someone you love is addicted to the internet or has a problem gaming, help is available and has the potential to ultimately change your life. No one deserves to spend their lives stuck behind a screen in a virtual world. The real world is waiting, and it’s never too late to step back in to it.