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Is watching TV an addiction? CBT Kenya
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  • Posted by: cbtkeadmin

Is watching TV an addiction? CBT Kenya

You may not think you have a TV addiction, but as soon as someone mentions shutting off the tube during one of your favorite shows, you might just lose your cool. But, are you really addicted to the TV or do you just really enjoy your favorite shows? There is a fine line between having a TV watching hobby and having an addiction. Television addiction has become a norm, especially with the ability to binge watch endless television shows or films thanks to the invention of satellite and cable TV. Along with online services such as Hulu and Netflix, enabling us to choose from hundreds of different channels. Though television in moderation is not harmful, too much viewing can severely impact your life.

Symptoms of TV addiction

  • Night after night, you promise yourself you’ll just watch one episode of something, but you end up watching three or four instead. Or maybe you turn on the TV before starting work and get so distracted you don’t get any work done. This keeps happening, even when you resolve to watch less.
  • There’s nothing wrong with occasionally using TV to help relieve or express painful emotions. But problems can develop when TV becomes your primary coping strategy and keeps you from seeking out more productive methods of dealing with distress.
  • If you watch a lot of TV, you might spend a lot of time sitting and less time being physically active. Healthcare experts generally recommend adults get at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise each week. If your TV viewing has become excessive, you may not have enough time to get in the weekly recommended amount of exercise, which can affect your health over time.
  • If you spend your free time watching TV, you probably aren’t spending much time with loved ones. You may have less time for chatting and catching up. What’s more, when you do see them, you might enjoy your time together less if you feel irritable and just want to get back to watching TV.
  • You might feel bad or even guilty about watching so much TV, since it keeps you from taking care of chores at home and other things you’d like to do. Even so, all you want to do after work (sometimes even during work) is watch TV. You feel guilty about having less time for loved ones and yourself, and you’ve even tried to watch less.

You can overcome TV addiction by:

  • Tell people you love that you want to break your TV addiction. Ask them to hold you accountable to watching it less often. Text reminders might be great or they can call you when you tell them that you need help putting down the remote.
  • You can watch your favorite show IF you have read a chapter of a book that you want to read. Or you can watch TV IF you made a healthy home cooked meal and did your chores first.
  • Set a timer. Make a decision to watch 2 hours or less per day and stick to it by turning the TV off when the timer sounds.
  • Figure out why you need the TV in your life. Make a decision to watch 2 hours or less per day and stick to it by turning the TV off when the timer sounds.
  • If TV didn’t exist, what would you be doing. Let’s say that there is no more TV, what would you spend your time doing? What goals are you failing to achieve because TV is draining your time?


There’s no single thing that makes people watch excessive amounts of TV. For starters, there are plenty of good things about TV. These tend to draw people in. For some, the allure may just be a bit stronger. Not everyone who watches TV becomes dependent on it, of course. But problematic use, of TV or any substance or behavior, can result when you begin to rely on TV to cope with stress and other distress, Stringer explains. TV can’t help you resolve whatever you’re dealing with. It can help you feel better for a while, but chances are, your improved mood won’t last until you take steps to address any problems.

The bottom line

There’s nothing wrong with relaxing by catching up on your favorite show or watching an entire season in one weekend. As long as you don’t have trouble taking care of your usual responsibilities and can find time for other leisure activities when you want to, your TV use probably isn’t problematic.

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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