If you or someone you love is addicted to computers than you are probably wondering how it can be stopped. Computers are a regular asset in our lives used during work and school, regularly used at home and even used on the go. We encounter computers in all facets of our lives including many daily routines that we perform such as paying bills, working or researching an important topic for school. According to the US National Library of Medicine, because computers are such an important part of our everyday lives, it can be very difficult to stop using the computer if you are addicted. The easy access that we all have to computers can make overcoming a computer addiction that much more difficult.
Fortunately, there is help available for those who suffer from this primarily behavioral condition. Computer addiction can be overcome through a series of behavioral therapy, cognitive therapy and social support. There are also some things that you can do for yourself or for someone you care about to help reduce the risk of a computer addiction or to overcome the addiction.
Becoming aware of your computer use habits is the first step in creating necessary change.
If you think you are addicted to the computer or that you have an internet addiction, there are some actions that you can take on your own to monitor your addiction, reduce you computer usage and get things under control.
1. Limit your computer use. You can set a timer, you can have your friends or family members time you or you can come up with another method of timing your computer usage. Make limits for the amount of time that you will spend.
2. Commit to only using the computer for work or school. If you have a problem with shopping or gambling or other activities on the computer, make a commitment that you will not use the computer unless you have to perform a task for work or school.
3. Place limitations on the location that you will use the computer at. For those who have problems with cybersex, are addicted to gambling or perform other poor tasks on the computer, placing a limitation on the location such as only using the computer in the kitchen or in the dining room may help to put your usage in front of others and reduce risky behaviors.
4. Look for social support. If you are addicted to the computer, find others who will understand your addiction and talk to them. Talk with your friends and family members about your condition and your desire to change—they too can help you monitor your usage and to stay on track with your goals.
5. Keep a computer diary. By keeping track of the amount of time that you spend on the computer, the activities that you perform and the emotions that lead up to the computer use you can narrow down times or activities that are performed based on emotions and be better prepared to take control of your addiction and prevent relapse.
6. Get outside help. While there are advocates for online computer addiction help, this method of treatment seems like it could be rather controversial. This is because, if you are already addicted to the computer, chances are you do not need to go to the computer for help. The best bet is to seek help outside of the home through social support groups, counseling or therapy.