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The Internet Addiction Program is a part of the Behavioral Health Services Dual Diagnosis Unit at Bradford Regional Medical Center in Bradford, PA. The Internet Addiction Treatment and Recovery Program offers counseling and treatment for adults 18 years of age and older, the program is for those who have been unsuccessful overcoming the excessive use of the internet and electronic gaming on their own. The program involves a voluntary ten-day stay within a secure and dedicated patient unit. Internet addiction is any online-related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes severe stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one’s work environment. Internet Addiction has been called internet dependency and internet compulsiveness. By any name, it is a compulsive behavior that completely dominates the addicts’ life. Internet addicts make the internet a priority more important than family, friends, and work. The internet becomes the organizing principle of addicts’ lives. They are willing to sacrifice what they cherish most in order to preserve and continue their behavior.
We are committed to helping patients develop a healthier lifestyle free from addiction and abuse of electronic media.
The service is the first hospital based recovery program in the United States, and offers the first ever Digital Device Treatment Program in the nation.
Our expert clinicians understand technology related behavioral addictions. They work with individuals, couples, and families to help them better understand and recover from an internet, video gaming or technology related behavioral addiction.
Our Program Director is Kimberly Young, Psy.D., internationally acknowledged expert on Internet addiction and digital treatment and founder of the Center for Internet Addiction. Dr. Young is available for an assessment and referral to our dynamic, unique treatment program.
This inpatient program provides individual, group and family therapy through a unique, individualized treatment plan, of which aftercare planning, family and referral involvement are key components. Patients will be treated by a multidisciplinary team including psychiatrists, licensed psychologists, certified addiction counselors, psychiatric nurses, social workers, mental health therapists, case managers and support staff.
SIGNS OF INTERNET & GAMING ADDICTIONS
Dr. Kimberly Young has linked internet addiction to similar impulse-control disorders. She also developed the Internet Addiction Diagnostic Questionnaire (IADQ) to diagnose the disorder.
Meeting five of the following symptoms were considered necessary to be diagnosed:
- Do you feel preoccupied with the Internet? (Think about previous online activity or anticipate next online session)
- Do you feel the need to use the Internet with increasing amounts of time 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 significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the Internet?
- Have you lied to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet?
- Do you use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (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
Kimberly Young, Psy.D, is an internally acknowledged expert on Internet Addiction and digital treatment and a professor at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY. She developed the first empirically-based treatment plan for Internet Addiction. Her research has shown Cognitive Behavior Therapy is effective in curing various forms of internet related problems. Dr. Young founded the Center for Internet Addiction in 1995. She is an internationally known speaker, author, and researcher. Dr. Young has written numerous articles, book chapters and books on internet addiction including: Tangled in the Web, Breaking Free of the Web: Catholics and Internet Addiction, and Internet Addiction: A Handbook and guide for Evaluation and Treatment. Her work has been widely featured in the media such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The London Times, USA Today, Good Morning America, and ABC’s World News Tonight. She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the Pennsylvania Psychological Association and a founding member of the International Society of Mental Health Online.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
What is Internet Addiction?
Internet Addiction is defined as any online-related, compulsive behavior which interferes with normal living and causes sever stress on family, friends, loved ones, and one’s work environment. Internet addiction has been called internet dependency and Internet compulsivity. By any name, it is a compulsive behavior that completely dominates the addicts’ life. Internet addicts make the internet a priority more important than family, friends, and work. The internet becomes the organizing principle of addicts’ lives. They are willing to sacrifice what they cherish most in order to preserve and continue their behavior.
What causes Internet Addiction?
Internet Addiction can be understood by comparing it to other types of addiction. Individuals addicted to alcohol or other drugs, for example, develop a relationship with their chemical(s) of choice - a relationship that takes precedence over any and all other aspects of their lives. Addicts find they need drugs merely to feel normal. In internet addiction, a parallel situation exists. The internet, like food or drugs in other addictions, provides the high and addicts become dependent on this cyberspace high to feel normal. They substitute unhealthy relationships for healthy ones. They opt for temporary pleasure rather than deeper qualities of normal intimate relationships. Internet addiction follows the same progressive nature of other addictions. Internet addicts struggle to control their behaviors, and experience despair over their constant failure to do so. Their loss of self-esteem grows, fueling the need to escape even further into their addictive behaviors. A sense of powerlessness pervades the lives of addicts.
What are the types of Internet Addiction?
Internet Addiction is an umbrella term that captures several subtypes of the disorder. This includes Cybersexual Addictions, or individuals who become addicted to viewing, downloading, and trading online pornography or who are involved in adult fantasy online conversations, webcams, and voice chat. Other users may engage in online affairs, or individuals may engage in virtual adultery where online companions quickly become more important to the individual often at the expense of real life relationships. Addiction to online gaming is the fastest growing problem, especially among youth populations, where individuals become addicted to multi-user role-playing games and video games. Addiction to Internet gambling, eBay or online auctions, social media, excessive texting, cell phone overuse, and information overload are other forms of obsessive or compulsive use of digital devices.
For admissions, the first step is to determine if there is a problem. A licensed psychologist or social worker trained in identification and treatment of Internet addiction can effectively perform an assessment to determine what level of care is most appropriate. Please call 1-800-446-2583 to speak to a professional.
We welcome referrals from psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, case managers, Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), insurance companies, managed care organizations, MH/MRs, children & youth, probation, friends, family members, self-referrals, and clergy. Referrals are confidential and can be made by anyone. BRMC does not discriminate in accepting patients based on ethnic or national origin, race, religion, disability, age or gender. If you would like further information, please call 1-800-446-2583.
At BRMC, we offer unique and specialized treatment methods for Internet addiction recovery. We view the Internet as a productive tool and unlike other addiction rehab that use traditional abstinence models, we focus on healthy choices that you can make about your own Internet use. We teach you how to go on a digital diet so that you can learn to use technology in responsible ways that add to your life. Family support and involvement is also strongly encouraged.