The Internet is a great resource that offers a vast information network and allows you to stay connected with others. That's especially well-suited for military families who may be in the midst of a deployment or adjusting to a recent move.
However, the Internet also hosts websites that can become incredibly addicting. While there are several different types of online addiction, each has the potential to interfere with normal living and create stress in areas like relationships, school and work.
If you or someone you know is battling with online addiction, there are resources and support available to help you manage your Internet use.
What are the different types of online dependency?
- Sex: This could mean excessive pornography watching or engaging in anonymous cyberspace fantasies with other online users. A dependency forms once these behaviors become difficult to control and begin interfering with real-life relationships and activities.
- Gambling and online auctions: An online gambling addiction can easily seduce Internet users who enjoy the emotional high of winning. Online auctions can have a similar effect.
- Gaming: Playing online games becomes a dependency when it changes from a hobby to an obsession. Players may find themselves playing games incessantly instead of participating in other real-life activities — even basic needs, like eating and sleeping.
What are some helpful resources for online addiction?
If your behavior online begins to feel out of control, it may be time to seek help. Consider reaching out to one of the following sources:
- A therapist or counselor who can help you develop strategies to manage your time online and understand any underlying issues that may be fueling your obsession
- A local support group that understands what you're going through
If you're having trouble finding a support group or counseling that fits your needs, you can also reach out to a military treatment facility or your installation's family support center. Just remember: there's no shame in asking for help when you need it.
Note: Military OneSource does not provide medical counseling services for issues such as depression, substance abuse, suicide prevention or post-traumatic stress disorder. This article is intended for informational purposes only. Military OneSource can provide referrals to your local military treatment facility, TRICARE or another appropriate resource.