Caught in the net
By Kimberley S. Young
Internet addiction is real. Like alcoholism, drug addiction, or compulsive gambling, it has devastating effects on the lives of addicts and their families: divorce, job loss, falling productivity at work, failure at school, and, in extreme cases, criminal behaviour. The problem has already reached epidemic proportions in the United States, and the growing number of "netaholics" continues to grow rapidly as more households and businesses go on-line. Yet, until now, no one from the mental health community has come forward with a specific description of Internet addiction and its effects or a strategy for treatment and recovery.
In Caught in the Net, Kimberly Young shares the results of her three-year study of Internet abuse. Often using the words of the Internet addicts themselves, she presents the stories of dozens of lives that were shattered by an overwhelming compulsion to surf the Net, play MUD games, or chat with distant and invisible neighbours in the timeless limbo of cyberspace.
Why is the Internet so seductive? What are the warning signs of Internet addiction? Is recovery possible? Dr. Young answers these questions and many more. She provides a questionnaire to help Net users determine whether they are addicts, and offers concrete steps to help problem users regulate Internet usage and devise a more balanced place for it in their daily lives.
For Internet addicts as well as their parents, spouses, friends, and employers, Caught in the Net offers guidance on where and how to seek help from counselors, therapists, and other professionals who take this affliction seriously. For mental health professionals, this book provides insights into the nature and causes of Internet addiction and encourages counselors and therapists to expand their addiction recovery programs to address the specific problems of Internet addicts.
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