There is a wide variety of professionals and treatment options for addiction disorders. Choosing the right treatment for you depends on many factors and on what is available in your particular community. There is no one-size-fits-all right treatment for curing an addiction to the Internet.
Can my doctor help me recover?
Few family doctors are trained in addiction treatment nor do many have experience in treating addictions. If you will require medication for depression or other severe symptoms, a psychiatrist with specific training and experience in addiction treatment will be the best medical professional to consult with.
If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, medications may be an important part of your Internet addiction treatment. In addition, if you are experiencing physical pain due to extended time in front of the computer screen – from eye pain to back and shoulder pain to even more extreme types of physical discomfort due to long hours of sitting and using the computer, your treatment may require medication in addition to other types of therapy or counseling. It is best to consult with a doctor that is familiar with the problems you are experiencing. Your insurance company may be able to assist you in finding such a physician.
Therapists use a variety of talk therapies to help addicted individuals cope with and recover from their addiction. Internet addiction is a relatively new phenomena that most therapists may not be familiar with. However, a therapist will experience and success in working with addicts, will be able to apply the same therapies and treatments to a patient with Internet Addiction. With any addiction, the therapist needs to help the patient to recognize and manage the situations that trigger relapse, and develop a lifestyle that will be rewarding without the addiction. Talk therapy is much more than the patient simply talking to his therapist and finding a sympathetic ear. Talk therapy makes use of a range of proven techniques to assist the patient in recognizing their problems and finding effective techniques for coping with those problems and stresses. A good therapist, for example, will help you to identify why you are turning to Internet porn in a compulsive way and will work with you to bring that habit under control. This is not about building willpower, which is not effective, but learning the skills that can manage stress in healthy ways.
Many people with Internet related Addiction problems – pornography and gambling for example, seeking counseling and not therapy. Counseling could be in the form of talking to a religious figure, a friend, a social worker or school counselor. For some, this may be enough. Counselors may be able to offers advice and direction in solving daily problems and to provide a kind of accountability element that would assist an addict to refrain from his addictive behavior. Counselors should have received formal training in counseling, such as group counseling and specific techniques.
For individuals that have suffered from addiction for a long period and for whom life has become completely overrun by their addiction, a treatment facility may be the best option. Similarly to what has been discussed about doctors and therapists, it is highly preferable to enter a facility that has specific experience in treating Internet addiction or other addiction disorders. The patient should feel comfortable with the choice and confident that he is entering a facility that can provide real help.
It is important to begin treatment with reasonable expectations. A period of time inside a treatment facility does not mean the patient is released when he is completely cured. Ideally, he will have overcome the most difficult part of his recovery and have learned the skills needed to continue his recovery.