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North London Stress Management Centre.
Tel: 020 8444 4871
Internet, social media and mobile phone addiction is often described as one of the leading technological menaces of our age, said to affect millions of people from all walks of life and social backgrounds. The general term can be grouped into five principal sub-categories:
Online Relationship Addiction: sufferers cross the realm of everyday interaction with family and friends and escape for substantial and unnecessarily long periods of time into a world of social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and even LinkedIn, which is supposed to be a business-only site yet is often used for inappropriate social networking. Online Relationship Addiction can on occasions lead to the hazardous experience known as Catfishing where susceptible and usually vulnerable people can be lured into perilous face-to-face meetings by predators adopting a fictional online persona.
Compulsive Information Seeking, where the thirst for knowledge becomes an uncontrollable passion, sufferers tend to subscribe to numerous news agencies, bookmarking the principal information outlets and are constantly, obsessively checking moment-by-moment developments in real-time on any given subject, no matter how important or, conversely, trivial the topic may seem.
Computer or Gaming Addiction: Adherents can spend many hours in just one sitting, escaping into a fantasy world where all that matters is completing a current mission before reaching the next level to the detriment of any other aspect of the gamer’s life. It is one of the most common internet addictions.
Net Compulsions, leading to a fixation with and addiction to online shopping, auctioneering (E-bay being a prime example) stock trading or gambling and other passions sometimes with devastating financial and personal consequences.
Cybersex Addiction, an ongoing fascination and preoccupation with pornography sites, adult chat rooms and web-cam services.
There are standard procedures and practices in place to treat those suffering from internet, social media and mobile phone addiction. Time Management skills guide the subject away from continual use, providing a form of structure and coherence which can, without a great deal of concentrated effort, be relatively simple to understand (if not particularly easy to adhere to). Starting fresh activities and hobbies is recommended, as is alerting excessive users to the damage caused by constant exposure to chatrooms, meetups, unpleasant or frightening images and assorted unchecked and potentially dangerous social situations. Self-awareness is taught, together with the identification of what triggers disproportionate usage. Managing emotions, controlling impulses, improving social skills are often suggested, the list is pretty much endless. And a lot of it has proven useful, making a significant and welcome difference to people’s lives as a result. Indeed, some of these techniques are utilised by therapists at our own centre to great effect.
Yet we are living in exceptional and deeply troubling times. The virus has caused devastation and ruin to so many people and is continuing to do so,compelling us to radically change how we once lived, forcing us to embrace an online world far more than we have wanted or needed to previously. Which comes with its own set of problems. How, for example, do we cut down and control usage when it looks like we will all have to gravitate more and more towards living, at least for the foreseeable future, in a digital environment not so much by choice, but out of necessity?
This of course affects most of us no matter what age but has a particular impact on younger people who make up a significant proportion of those we see at our centre suffering from internet and associated addictions.
New techniques that account for these changes need to be considered and where appropriate, implemented. We must first understand what addiction is and where it comes from for addiction to the internet and associated technologies is no different to any other kind of addiction. It involves the ongoing struggle between the Self and the Addict, two opposing forces locked in perpetual conflict. The Self provides the basis of our identity, shaping our character whilst the Addict, through harmful repetition, seeks to take over and become the dominant force.
We urge you at this point to click on the image below for a full explanation of this dual engagement as it is fundamental to understanding why you are currently suffering:
Our five-session non-residential treatment programme is technique-driven, based on over 20 years’ experience helping people overcome addiction. It is not a 12-step plan. We incorporate gestalt psychology, NLP, cognitive behavioural therapy, emotional freedom techniques (EFT), psycho-cybernetics, mindfulness and, where appropriate, hypnotherapy.
The 30-minute initial consultation is free of charge and there is no obligation to proceed with the treatment should you not wish to. Thereafter, the charge per session is £80 and includes, in addition to the one-hour meetings, numerous pdf documents and three studio-quality recordings.
We have two London centres: Islington N1 and Muswell Hill N10 though due to the current pandemic, we are currently (some would say ironically given the subject of this article!) only seeing people across the Skype, Zoom or WhatsApp platforms.
We look forward to hearing from you. Your addictive journey is about to end. Whatever lessons you may have learnt as a result can be filed away for future reference if need be but for now, you can rejoice in the fact that you are already, just by simply reading this page, starting to take back control of your life. We offer our congratulations to you for taking such an important first step in the recovery process.
COVID-19. For updated information and to access your FREE recordings please click on the following images: