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Am I Addicted to the Internet?

—a public service post. Comments welcome.

As a psychotherapist, I want to ask everyone reading this to ask yourself, “Am I allowing myself to spend too much time online?” Please be honest and answer your self-addressed question without justifying any aimless internet usage.

Many people, when asked, give a much lower number of hours that they actually spend online. This is not on purpose but a genuine lack of knowledge of the true amount of hours spent playing internet games, social media, surfing the web, internet porn, research for research’s sake, netflix, texting, sexting, online romances, etc. Research has shown that overuse of online resources is a leading cause for family and couples’ discord.

Young people, take a hard look at how you are using technology. Mom and dad, please do the same; in fact, why not have a family meeting and discuss internet usage and consider how many hours are being spent online. There is no doubt that technology has created a wonderous pathway into learning and aquiring knowledge but there is the ugly side that should be considered.

“Internet addiction is being strongly considered as a societally damaging disorder…”

Many of the young (and not so young) would be so supprised to discover just how much of their lifespan is being spent in front of a screen without justifiable reasons. Much of that time may be found to be more wasted time than beneficial use of the technology available to us today.

Internet addiction is being strongly considered as a societally damaging disorder in Asian countries. Many of them have established Internet addiction and misuse treatment centers all over their countries. Japan, South Korea, and China are very active in taking remedial and preventative measures and attempting to head it off but it is already reaching epidemic proportions.

Obviously, the internet and all that that implies is here to stay. Responsible use is mandatory to prevent our children and ourselves from bringing about the detrimental effects that unhealthy use of the internet can being.

Do you consider this post an alarmist reaction or does the message it brings ring true?  Click comments under the title of this blog post.

The people who live in my geographical practice area are encouraged to present your thoughts, pro or con, to address this grave concern in mental health today.

—This has been a public service post by Malott Counseling Services.

Codependency: Losing Self In The Game Of Love? Part 1

How do you lose yourself and become entangled with another’s identity? Codependency can be understood as losing self during involvement with another. Many times, the loser-of-self is not actually aware of their loss.

Such a situation causes painful losses if the relationship sours and a breakup occurs. Why? You disappear and feel alone because you have so closely identified everything about yourself around another person. This can be a common situation in people who were not able to reach the basic life-task of developing internal sense of self, called autonomy.

Autonomy is recognizing your independence and ability to be self-reliant. This normal development goal can be stymied by several causes. Sometimes, you are not given opporunity in early childhood and growing up to develop that sense of self.  This causes you not to reach autonomy by adulthood.

In adult relationships, we find the example of codependency instead of self-dependency played out as power struggles between couples—ending in no resolution between the couples.  This continues producing the fertile ground for continued arguing without resolution: many times over minor things.

The cause of such struggles can usually be traced back to one person wanting control over the other, meeting one’s needs at the cost of the other, or demanding intimacy above the desires of the other person.

”There may be fear of being under another’s control…”

Intimacy differences, many times, form a baseline to measure the symptoms of codependency.  You can avoid intimacy sometimes only to become very vulnerable when intimacy is finally allowed in. Intimacy can also become a method of coping to hold onto autonomy for some.

There may be fear of being under another’s control when giving in after a period of avoiding intimacy because you see intimacy avoidance as a means for maintaining self-autonomy; however, fearing intimacy can cause loss of control and winding up hurt again.

As real as these feelings appear, many times they are actually mental vestiges of childhood memories held over from a traumatic childhood. In such a childhood, the victim may have felt unsafe if they were dependent.

You may even feel uncomfortable about security when in a relationship as well as when on your not. Being either close to another or autonomous, it can create much conflict when in a relationship.

We will continue this post series next Sunday where we will focus on “How the heck did this happen to me!”

“Until next week…” ?


Would a FREE Informational Online Seminar on Internet Addictions be Attended?

Hello to Lincoln/Otero counties, New Mexico,

I have information that I feel compelled to offer to the area I serve: Lincoln and Otero counties in New Mexico.  This information is about the latest findings of the effects that some adults and children are experiencing with internet use.

I have thought about this for several weeks and here are some of the problems I have found in trying to bring this information to your attention:

  1. Email:  I do not have all the households in these two counties email addresses.
  2. Text:  I do not have all the cell phone numbers either.
  3. Facebook posting:  Even if I was to post on Facebook, their algorithm limits who views it to a few even if you are set for public viewing.

I am sure there are other restrictions in getting the word out but the three above were enough to cause me to think of a better way—an Online Seminar.  The next thought was the time involved for me to set this up, pay for a decent online seminar company to deliver the information with, and to develop the best way to present it to you, the people in Lincoln and Otero counties.

Do I charge a nominal fee to cover my time and expenses?  Or do I do it as a public service so people can have this information free?

I choose to do it for free.  I will also be happy to speak for FREE  about this subject for any organization, church, business, educational institution, or others where at least 25 or more people are present to interested to hear this information and it’s solution.

Please respond to this blog post by using the CONTACT US page or go to our Facebook page, Malott Counseling Services, and message us.