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Internet Addiction Disorder - CBT Kenya
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  • Posted by: cbtkeadmin

Internet Addiction Disorder – CBT Kenya

Internet addiction is a behavioral addiction marked by a compulsive desire to perform one or more online activities, including gaming, social media, or browsing. There’s no question that use of electronic devices is extremely widespread. Much of work life, schoolwork, social life, and recreation is now conducted via computer. Spending a lot of time on the internet seems to have become normal behavior, especially for adolescents. Much of their social activity has simply moved online. Like any new technology, the computer has changed the way everyone lives, learns, and communicates.

Signs and symptoms of Internet Addiction

Do you play video games on the Internet in excess? Are you compulsively shopping online? Can’t physically stop checking Facebook? Is your excessive computer use interfering with your daily life – relationships, work, school?  Addiction is generally understood to be a mental disorder involving compulsive behavior. When someone is constantly online, they may be described as addicted to it.

  • Preoccupation with the Internet, such as thinking about activities you’ll do next time you’re online.
  • Feeling the need to spend more time online to achieve the same amount of satisfaction.
  • Feelings of irritability, depression, and moodiness when Internet use is limited.
  • Using the Internet for longer periods of time than intended.
  • Putting a job or relationship at risk so you can use the Internet.
  • Relying on the Internet to regulate or improve your mood.

Causes of Internet Addiction

  • Self-medication for a mental health disorder. Many people use the internet to mask anxiety, depression, or other mental illness.
  • Information addicts. Some people have an intense hunger for knowledge, and the internet provides immediate access to tons of information that can be very attractive for information addicts.
  • Many people, especially those who do not have a companion, interact online to fulfill a void that causes them to feel lonely.
  • Anxiety or social disorders. Some people have anxiety when they are face to face with people or suffer from other social disorders that make it difficult for them to interact in real life but easier to interact online.
  • Shifting from a real world addiction. Many people who suffer from a real world addiction to shopping or gambling will shift their addictions to an online version such as internet gambling or excessive shopping online.

Steps that can help prevent Internet addiction

If you feel that you or your loved one may be at risk for Internet addiction, there are steps you can take to lower your risk and maintain healthy habits surrounding Internet use.

  • Seek professional treatment for mental health disorders that may lead to compulsive Internet use.
  • Find healthier ways to manage stress such as yoga or deep breathing.
  • Get support from friends, family, and therapists to hold you accountable for healthy Internet use.
  • Engage in other healthy activities such as exercising, socializing, and reading.
  • Think about why you use the Internet so much. What makes you go online? Is there a real problem you’re not facing up to?
  • Take note of your symptoms – for example, keep track of your behavior, thoughts and feelings.


It isn’t necessary to quit using the Internet altogether. Professional treatment aims to allow the person to use the Internet positively rather than compulsively. Internet addiction seems to respond well to cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). This type of therapy focuses on changing patterns of thinking and beliefs that are associated with and trigger anxiety. The basis of cognitive behavior therapy is that beliefs trigger thoughts, which then trigger feelings and produce behaviours. Consult with your doctor for further information and referral.

Word from CBT Kenya

CBT-Kenya (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy-Kenya) counseling center offers counseling and therapy sessions for persons from all walks of life. We focus on helping clients gain insight into themselves by going through a healing process. Our purpose is to help you to achieve your therapeutic and life goals, to improve the quality of your life and to help you to build strong relationships in your life. Get in touch or book an appointment on +254 739 935 333, +254 756 454 585 or info@cbtkenya.org.


Author: cbtkeadmin
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