There are over three billion internet users in the world, which means 40% of the world’s population uses the internet. You may not have heard of it, but its a real addiction. Those afflicted with it have to seek treatment to stop. It’s called Technology Addiction, and the information below will provide information, research, and data on the inpatient treatment for technology addiction.

What is the Inpatient Treatment for Technology Addiction?

The American Journal of Psychiatry divides internet addiction into three different subcategories. The three subcategories consist of preoccupations, gaming, and email or text messaging. What’s unique is each of the three subcategories have four common internet addiction symptoms that are the same. They are:

  1. Withdrawal symptoms are exhibited by the patient when the user has no access to technology. These symptoms include anger, depression, confusion, etc.
  2. Excessive use of technology is when the patient loses their sense of time and seems to be unable to quit using it when asked.
  3. Patients exhibit high levels of tolerance where they want more technology equipment, better equipment, more hours to use the technology, etc.
  4. The user is doing damage to their lives by lying, hiding their technology usage, and it’s having negative repercussions in their lives.

Inpatient technology addiction treatment usually requires at least a 10-day inpatient therapy program. Inpatient treatment for technology addiction uses the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on patient’s thoughts, values, and beliefs. It doesn’t address the actions of the person rather it focuses on the why by helping patients have healthy interactions with technology.

The main goal or objective of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy is for patients to learn new ways of using technology more healthily. The inpatient therapy starts with a 72-hour detox where patients cannot interact with any form of technology. After the 72-hour detox, patients are given a complete psychiatric evaluation. It’s after the psychiatric evaluation patients begin group therapy sessions, educational and informational classes and family consultations. In all of the above the patient begins to use technology again in a step-by-step gradual process.

There are components of internet addiction, which are common components of any addiction. They include things like mood disturbances because of the patient’s inability when they try to reduce their time using the internet. Patients will lie about how much time they spend using the internet, and more.

Is Inpatient Treatment Effective?

Inpatient treatment for internet addiction deals with efficacy throughout the therapy program. Efficacy means inpatient treatment is dealing with an addiction that exists in life that the patient cannot avoid. In today’s world, that’s technology. The patient deals with internet addiction, with inpatient treatments that utilize evidence-based practices to combat the addiction. The treatments are geared towards preventing relapses. In addition to the three subcategories of addiction and the four common symptoms they all have, there are also five different types of internet addiction. It is the type of internet addiction that impacts what inpatient treatment needs the patient will have so it can be optimized and effective. The five types of internet addiction are:

  1. Online internet activities exhibit net compulsions like online gambling, auctions, shopping and more. These net compulsions can have a devastating effect on marriages, relationships, and finances.
  2. Addiction to cybersex is when a patient is addicted to pornography, sexual fantasy chat rooms, and more. This is an obsession that has a heavy impact on a patient’s ability to forge real-life relationships with real-life intimacy issues.
  3. Compulsive data and information gathering are due to the wealth of data and information available on the internet. Anyone who already has obsessive-compulsive tendencies can easily start exhibiting uncontrollable urges to gather and organize internet data.
  4. Cyber Relationships are relationships that only occur online. Some patients will forge a new cyber relationship and forgo the real-life relationships they have ongoing in their lives. A form of catfishing is often used in this addiction where a person creates a fake online persona to help them feel wanted.
  5. Gaming addiction is when a patient spends an excessive amount of time playing games. They play internet games so much it impacts their jobs, relationships, and life.

All the above forms of internet addiction are in terms of the therapeutic world in their infancy. As of today, there are differences of opinion on why internet addiction occurs which makes treating it a challenge. Many inpatient treatments use treatment that’s geared towards impulse-control disorder.

Sometimes, you’ll notice that someone with internet addiction won’t be able to get through a meal without compulsively checking their text messages. They start losing sleep because they have to be using their smartphones, computers, or tablets all the time. There have been recorded cases of some people with internet addiction who wear diapers, so they don’t have to take a break from their gaming, playing, web surfing, etc.

Many therapists feel internet addiction needs to result in inpatient treatment for which provides therapy for the comorbid psychopathological condition. In other words, internet addiction treatment can only be effective if you treat the symptoms and the why behind the symptoms. There needs to be more studies and research done to determine the most effective inpatient treatment methodology for the addiction.

A Positive Path Forward

Inpatient treatment for technology addiction seems to have the best results using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and implementing it through the following components.

  1. Have the patient practice doing the opposite of internet addiction with actions like real-life communication, interactions, activities, etc.
  2. Use external stoppers where an external interruption prevents the patient from using the internet after they log on to the internet.
  3. Have the patient set their treatment goals in what they want to accomplish through inpatient treatment.
  4. Have the patient go through a period of abstaining from the internet and technology altogether.
  5. Create and use reminder cards.
  6. The patient develops a personal inventory.
  7. The patient begins group therapy.
  8. The patient begins family therapy.

There is already an established agreement on diagnostic criteria for internet addiction. The correct intervention and inpatient treatment for technology will enable effective and efficient treatment methods for addiction behaviors.