Understanding Sexual and Technological Addictions. Are You Or Your Children Already Addicted? Part XXI

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By Lawrence W. Daly, MSc

“Every life is a march from innocence, through temptation, to virtue or vice.”
Lyman Abbott

The two newest addictions are technological and sexual addictions. Although they have been around for decades if not centuries they are here and they are going to stay. The adrenaline that individuals feel when they are allowed the opportunity to buy a new techno gadget or view pornography is sometimes uncontrollable.

In the past the sex addict would find his “pleasure zones” by viewing pornographic magazines, movies, and attend strip clubs. Now with the new techno gadgets any type of sex you may want is at your fingertips just at the click of the mouse.

So what is technological addiction? Who is this individual who must have and absorb the newest, best, and shiniest toy available on the market?  To be entangled into the many products which are available can be emotionally and riveting to the technological addict. The individuals stay on top of what new products that becomes available on a daily basis. They stand in lines for hours trying to be the first in line to buy that new techno gadget e.g. iPhones, Smartphones, Blackberry’s, iPads, and the list can go on forever.

In evaluating what drives these individuals to have the new techno gadgets isn’t as simp
Image representing iPad as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase
le as it seems. There may be a multitude of reasons why technological addicts find themselves living their dream through their iPhone. Let us review some of them:

1.      Individuals who have an impulse control problem or compulsion to answer every text, email, telephone call, or be on the Internet 24/7 may suffer from Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, know too many as OCD.
2.      The need for more adrenaline and dopamine rushes and highs can cause depression and potentially suicide.
3.      Do to the lack of sleep the individual may experience mood disorders to the point where they appear to be bi-polar or have a borderline personality.
4.      Do to the impulse control issues, a technological addict may begin finding other impulse control mechanisms which may include food, drugs, sex, and so forth.

In a study performed in China, it has been reported that 13.7 per cent of adolescent internet users, about 10 million, could be considered addicts. How many Americans are technological addicts has yet to be determined, but there is no doubt there is a problem brewing and it will at some time become a major problem in the mental health disorder(s) categories.

Some of the compulsion can be blamed on the techno gadget. Instead of talking to human beings, the individual replaces a person with the laptop, iPhone, iPad, and so forth. It is not unusual nowadays to see individuals walking around the mall with their iPad in their hand or placed in their purse or in a shoulder bag. The individual can’t seem to find a way to leave the techno gadgets at home where it belongs. They believe if they leave the gadgets at home they will miss out on something. Missing a text, email, or telephone call is a cause for panic, stress, and high anxiety issues.

The dependence on techno gadget has taken addiction to an all new high. Everyday a new gadget is release into the consumer market. Each market has methods and techniques which draw the addict into purchasing their new product.
OREM, UT - FEBRUARY 3: A customer looks at an ...
OREM, UT - FEBRUARY 3: A customer looks at an Apple iPad at a Verizon Store as a sign on a window announces the arrival of Apple's iPhone to Verizon February 3, 2011 in Orem, Utah. The iPhone will be available on Verizon's network starting February 10. (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

So how do technological addicts find their way back to reality? First, the addict needs to find ways to minimize the emotional draw and the belief that they can’t live without the gadget. Second, they need to find a 12-step group of technological addicts who can support sobriety one day at a time. Third, the need to follow a 12-step program is vital for recovery, if this is possible. Three, they need to be in individual counseling, life coaching, and/or with a consultant to deal with the addiction. Four, they need to be evaluated by a psychiatrist to ascertain if there was a previous disorder which caused the addiction or caused the disorder to be perpetuated because of an existing unknown disorder.

You can go to netaddiction.com and find the following questions and concerns. If you answer the questions with a yes, please take the necessary steps to become healthy. The questions are:

To beat the addiction, he advised: 'A self-help group might be a place to start. Maybe replace an online group with a real one.'
Are you a net junkie?
If you answer 'yes' to five or more of these questions, you may have an internet addiction.
· Do you feel preoccupied with the internet? (Think about your online activity or anticipate your next online session.)
· Do you need increasing amounts of time on the net in order to achieve satisfaction?
· Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop internet use?
· Do you feel restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop internet use?
· Do you stay online longer than originally intended?
· Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the internet?
· Have you lied to family members, a therapist, or others to conceal the extent of your involvement with the internet?
· Do you use it to escape from problems (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)?

Other Symptoms Include:

• Failed attempts to control behavior

• Heightened sense of euphoria while involved in 
computer and Internet activities

• Neglecting friends and family

• Neglecting sleep to stay online

• Being dishonest with others

• Feeling guilty, ashamed, anxious, or depressed as a result
of online behavior

• Physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome 

• Withdrawing from other pleasurable activities

Source: Centre for Internet Addiction Recovery netaddiction.com

The need to address technological addiction is now. The child who is exposed to techno gadgets needs to be educated and monitored in all of their activities they engage in. In the beginning children were addicted to the video games which played in the Xbox or other play stations, but now the diversification of gadgets has just begun. The new exposure takes them to an external world which they may not be ready for. As a parent you need to make sure your child is of the age where they can responsibly handle dealing with techno gadgets. Parents take the time to be protective of your children. You do not want them to become a victim to technology.

Tomorrow, this series continues and the subject matter continues to fascinate the imagination of what is truly happening in the world. There are wars occurring in many countries. The war which is happening here in the United States and it is call technological and sexual addiction. Are you one of these addicts?

Lawrence W. Daly
Puyallup, WA

Follow me on Twitter @LifeCoachLD
See me on Facebook –SteppingStones

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