Let’s face it. The average Canadian is on the grid, even during vacations and on weekends. In fact, we spent more than 34 hours online per month in 2013, on average; outpaced in the top 10 countries only by the U.S. and the U.K., at roughly 36 hours. So how do you know when your social media habit, or perhaps the iPhone attached to your ear (after all, ¾ of Canadians own one), is more than a hobby – and closer to an addiction? Here are some signs and symptoms that you have an digital addiction.
Losing track of time online or getting irritable if online/phone time is interrupted
Having trouble completing tasks at work or home because of time spent online/iphone etc.
Isolation from family and friends. Is your social life suffering because of all the time you spend online? Are you neglecting your family and friends? Do you feel like no one in your “real” life—even your spouse—understands you like your online friends?
Feeling guilty or defensive about your Internet use. Are you sick of your friends or family nagging you to get off the computer or put your smartphone down and spend time together? Do you hide your Internet use or lie about the amount of time you spend on the computer or mobile devices and what you do while you’re online?
Using the internet to mast/avoid feelings. Do you use the Internet as an outlet when stressed, sad, or for sexual gratification or excitement?
Have you made repeated efforts to control, cut back or stop excess online or iPhone usage?
Has your online activities replaced those that you once enjoyed?
Do you find yourself lying, covering up, or hiding excess internet or iPhone usage and have not been successful at it?
Do you get excessive anxiety when you can’t use the internet or your iPhone for a certain period of time?
Like all addictions, the best way to treat them is gain an understanding of the root cause behind the behaviour, which may include: self-limiting beliefs, physiological imbalances, unresolved events from the past, and ineffective coping strategies.
Traditional therapeutic methods of treating addiction rely primarily on talk therapy, which addresses the left hemisphere of the brain. This is the side focused on logic, thinking and analysis; whereas the right side of the brain is responsible for emotions, intuition and bodily sensations. We recommend incorporating therapies and holistic interventions that integrate both the left and right hemisphere of the brain. These include: EMDR, Somatic Psychotherapy, Neuro-integration, Sound Therapy, Tai Chi, Mindfulness Meditation and more. The end result is a more balanced, healthy and fulﬁlling life. Call 416.921.2273 or email [email protected] to book a consultation with a member of our clinical team.