With machines now helping us in every walk of life, from healthcare to our social lives, it’s important to consider what negatives can arise from this. Technology addiction is rather new, but it presents a growing problem in this country. Luckily, some people are pioneering technology addiction treatment and finding ways to help others cope.
What is the Treatment for Technology Addiction?
There are a variety of different approaches for treatment of technology addiction. It’s important to find out what is going on in someone’s life, as this may have contributed to the addiction. Technology addiction treatment usually centers around therapy, but there are different kinds of therapy that have had success.
If you’re looking for an affordable way to go about technology addiction treatment, then the first thing to consider is group therapy. Usually a session will have between six – twelve participants but it may be slightly more. The group will be led by an addiction specialist or psychologist. Although there is currently no dedicated 12-step set-up for technology addiction, it may follow this format. The session can last from one – two hours and members discuss their issues with technology addiction. It is a great place to find support and realize that you’re not battling this alone. It also helps as other people that suffer with technology addiction can explain what works for them and find ways to reduce the time they spend on technology. Even being at a meeting will mean being away from technology for that period of time.
Cognitive Behavioral therapy
Probably the most common form of therapy used for technology addiction treatment is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, also known as CBT. It is also used for substance abuse, depression and anxiety so it can be helpful to treat the underlying issues that may have caused the addiction in the first place. CBT addresses negative thoughts and patterns and the patient must also undertake some homework in order to help themselves.
Dialectical therapy is a little similar to cognitive behavioral therapy. It helps people in technology addiction treatment to understand themselves better and why they might do things the way they do them. Understanding oneself is key to addressing actions that have negative outcomes, which can be the case with technology addiction. It helps people build confidence and self-esteem so they can look beyond the technology to the life they are missing.
There are other therapies available for those seeking technology addiction treatment. Some find equine therapy a good alternative; other centers have set up art therapy. Family therapy is also good if the dynamic at home has been compromised.
Is Technology Addiction Treatment Effective?
The research about technology addiction treatment is in quite early stages. As many in the psychological health community are split on whether it is an actual illness or not, it is difficult to assess whether doctors are treating the problem seriously.
Technology addiction treatment varies quite radically from other addiction therapies in that it does not recommend giving up entirely. This is why examining the efficacy of the treatments is different. Anyone who suffers with technology addiction will probably have to go back into the world and use technology, whether they are a student, have a working life or even as a single mum who wants to stay connected with her children. Basically it is all about managing a person’s use of technology and changing their attitudes and behaviors around it.
When addressing technology addiction, it’s not the object itself that causes the addiction, but more that overuse contributes to changes in the brain’s reward center. The object can represent the means and the object used, but it is not the same as being addicted to heroin or alcohol, which can present life-threatening circumstances from the substance itself.
Treating Underlying Issues Proves Effective
When treating the underlying problems, some therapists are prescribing anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medications. As this can help stave off some of the feelings that contribute to technology addiction, it is also having a positive effect on those trying to recover.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has definitely shown some promising results in technology addiction treatment. A uniquely-designed form of CBT, combined with Harm Reduction Therapy, called CBT-IA, took a three-phase approach to curb internet addiction. The results were very promising after a twelve-week course. After six months, 78% of those who had undergone the study were able to manage their symptoms and hadn’t lapsed back to overuse of the internet.
With places such as the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction open in Connecticut and the reSTART residential treatment facility in Seattle, WA, more and more is being discovered in regards to treating technology addiction and what brings the best results. All of this will help people further understand how to tackle the problem earlier and skills to manage their own usage so it doesn’t continue to be a problem.
The answer is that technology addiction treatment is proving successful for the majority of people and relapse does not appear to be as common as with other addictions. This is positive news for all concerned. What needs to happen next is for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) to list it as as recognised illness so that everyone can have access to treatment.