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I think Im addicted to the Internet

Discussion in 'Lifestyle Management' started by sleepyhead, Jun 7, 2012.

  1. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead

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    I think I now have one more problem besides ME: Because I am sick and on my own most of the time I was so bored that I started spending more and more time on the internet (reading health stuff and so on - maybe some of you can relate...).

    Now I must realise that I cant stop it anymore: Im so addicted that I spend all my time online. I know it sounds ridiculous, but its serious. It feels like my brain was addicted to a real drug.

    I guess you would recommend a healthy internetaddicted person to just go out more, meet people and enjoy real life. But obviously I cant because Im too sick. And on the other hand I think being online all the time keeps me from going out, trying to walk more and getting better.

    Anyone else had a similar problem?

    Any ideas what to do against this addiction?
    Allyson likes this.
  2. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    sleepyhead, know where your coming from but at 4am theres no good tv and everyone asleep here but me. Also i think the frustration of having cfs/me drives many of us to keep looking for answers. SOmetimes i think im carrying on like a hypochondriac but then i also think it has more to do with not giving up on life and that we have to take control of our own health as doctors can only do so much. I have noticed that when i feel better and im more active that i spend alot less time on this dam computer, if i was completely cured i would definately spend alot less time on here.

    I think its good to keep educating yourself. i think though if u have had cfs/me for quite a few years and spent X amount of time researching on the internet, that we should be gien a medical degree, cfs/me specialists, lol. Im just glad they took down the amount of posts we make on here, cause i had a crap load, lol.

    cheers!!!
  3. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

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    I think a lot of this have the same issue. Depending on how well you are, you might try to consciously stop for a moment at times in the day and think 'am I well enough to do something that might be a good break for a bit?' If you are well enough fora bit of a walk, then maybe it's good to step away from the computer for a bit. If you are really too sick o do something else without crashing, then maybe try an activity that is not on the computer but doesn't require you to move (a game or puzzle perhaps). I think it is a matter of finding something that is within your energy envelope but feels like a variation in activity.

    That being said, I'm on the internet, well, quite a bit. If I'm crashed my brain can't seem to do much else. Reading is a good alternative if you have the cognitive function to do so. Even if you vary your internet activity to include more relaxing things, like looking at nature photos, it could give you a bit less of a feeling of 'compulsion'.
    SickOfSickness, Allyson and merylg like this.
  4. justy

    justy Senior Member

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    I know exactly where you are coming from. I noticed earlier today that i was on here at the same time as cooking! it really is becoming a terrible addiction.

    On the other hand, when i do feel much better i do go out and do other things - even sometimes forgetting the computer is there. I am going on holiday this year for the first time in years and cant imagine being away from my computer for that long - it is my support.
    Allyson and merylg like this.
  5. heapsreal

    heapsreal iherb 10% discount code OPA989,

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    Also for me i dont talk to anyone about my symptoms or about cfs, the internet is a good way to vent and think out loud etc. My 12 y/o daughter said to me the other week, 'dad this is like your facebook, isnt it' and i suppose it is. i talk to my wife occassionally about my cfs but not alot, she knows when im up the creek without a paddle etc i dont need to tell her or burden her with my whinning(me walking around the house at 3am is enough of a burden for her), thats what u guys on PR are for, lol. these sites i think are about support and sharing research and other stuff we find that might be helpful to us internet whinners, lol.
  6. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    For me I know it's not an addiction because as soon as I improve a bit enough to be able to do some thing else, I do! Maybe you are the same way and are just not well enough to do other things? When I'm too sick to read, to concentrate on a movie, etc. too sick to physically do anything, what else is there but the Internet? I'm not saying you don't have an addiction of course, only you would know that. But in my case it's directly connected to how well I'm doing. At first chance of doing something else, I do and don't give a second's thought to the Internet. Then when I'm worse again, I'm online most of the time again for lack of ability to do anything else.
    Allyson, merylg, CJB and 1 other person like this.
  7. Googsta

    Googsta Doing Well

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    I think Ocean hit it right on the head ;).
    I had some improvement the past couple of weeks & my internet use dropped substansually, somedays I don't even turn my laptop on at all.
    But then insomnia got worse & here I am again!

    Try not to be anxious about it, we are social animals & we need some form of human contact. Try to have internet-free hours or afternoons. If you can manage that then try setting time limits.

    If you are having a rough patch just ENJOY reaching out, it is far better than being isolated.
    :hug:
    Allyson, merylg, CJB and 1 other person like this.
  8. CJB

    CJB Senior Member

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    My name is CJ and I'm a computer addict. We need an on-line support group!!! :rofl:

    Seriously, I agree with Ocean and Googsta. If I'm feeling well enough to leave the computer, I do without a look back. But when I'm having a down spell, it's an invaluable lifeline.

    So lighten up and big hugs.:hug:
    merylg and L'engle like this.
  9. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

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    As well, if it's on-line talking with friends wouldn't count that as a negative. Since we do't get out to see friends much, talking with others on-line is a plus, not a negative :) And the cool people you meet here! :cool:
    merylg likes this.
  10. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    I've had this so long I don't even worry about it anymore. Without contact with people on the internet, many of us would have no contact with anyone at all. That's probably more detrimental than an internet "addiction."

    I tend to look at it like Cheney used to talk about klonopin: if you need it, you need it, but once you don't need it anymore, it tends to just fall away naturally. Once we improve & spend more time in the 'real world,' we probably won't spend nearly as much time online.

    When I'd start to worry is if a "normal" person spent this much time online. Since we don't have normal activities or lives, I don't really see it as much of a problem. One less thing to worry about. :D
    Allyson, merylg and justy like this.
  11. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    I do that too, I even if Im watching TV will get onto the computer during the commercial breaks.

    In my case I think its cause I hate doing NOTHING. .. I think from being long term bedbound in the past it has given me a huge thing about doing nothing, such a hate for that, that when Im not feeling sick, I have to be doing something every moment... that something thou always has to be within my energy envelope.
    (I was hyperactive before I got sick..always on the go.. and I guess that part of my personality never changed).
    ...............................

    I also have noticed there is a protective mechanism my body seems to have.. in which makes me more so want to do sitting or laying down activities. When Ive decided that maybe Im being lazy by not doing more physical things and made myself do them, its always ends up backfiring with me ending up realising I wasnt as well as I really thought I was and my health starts falling.

    Maybe the fact you arent actually able to get yourself to get into a habit of going for walks is more so about your body still wanting to conserve its energy and hence then you having more of an interest in being on the computer then out walking?

    Ive found that when my body is truely up to doing stuff.. I suddenly have the "motivation" to do more active things and then often do find Im okay with doing them.
    ..........

    It is good to have found things we enjoy doing that arent taxing us even if it is being on the computer.

    When Im going throu an extremely good patch.. I actually find I forget at times about the computer and then can end up not on it for a couple of days at all. I'd be embarrassed right now to share how many hours Ive been on it thou this week. It really helps me keep my sanity :)
    merylg likes this.
  12. Ocean

    Ocean Senior Member

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    That's what I've always found strange, some people do seem to be online as much as me. Healthy people! I think once people starting using phones to get online, they started being online all throughout the day instead of just at their lunch break or after work or whatever. It's still weird to me when I see people constantly texting and going online on their phones while out or at an event or whatever, since for me if I get to be out for a change the last thing I want to do is be on the computer/Internet. But then they're not home all day long every day so it's a different situation for them. Still I remember finding it so weird when I'd see people constantly updating their Facebook status and replying to comments instantaneously all throughout the day and things like that. I finally realized most people were doing that on their phones. (Yes, I'm a bit behind technologically. At least one advantage of being stuck at home all day is I don't need to buy a smart phone, I have easy online access from my home computer.)
    Allyson and merylg like this.
  13. hurtingallthetimet

    hurtingallthetimet Senior Member

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    i think this is common with alot of people to be on computers its the age we live in..
    but i think its very common in ill people becasue for alot it is all the connection we have to the rest of the world..

    i dont know what i would do without the support groups, im on another been on for along time i thought i could juggle both but can only focus on coming and going on one at a time i hate that..but the internet helps us feel connected, for the ill its easy to lay back in chair or lay down pillows, pain medications whatever and lay back and get comfortable in pjs and have somewhat of a connection to others..

    it helps also that i can shop for kids christmas online etc. it makes me feel needed to find deals, clearence year round and have mailed to house, so its something hubby donest have to deal with, and you can find medical info etc. it is exhausting at time being online thoguh but as i said it helps those who cant get out....

    if someone is able to get outside and connect with real people then i think that is a good idea of course, but for those who cant thankfully we can connect online
  14. jeffrez

    jeffrez Senior Member

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    Lol - I know! Ppl keep saying to me, "you don't have a smartphone? Why don't you get a smartphone?" I'm like, I never go anywhere & I have a laptop. What do I need a smartphone for? The fact that they seem puzzled & can't seem to grasp that tells me how far out of the loop I am, but it definitely saves on monthly costs. : P
    CJB, Allyson and merylg like this.
  15. sleepyhead

    sleepyhead

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    I like this :)

    So many answers! But all of you dont seem to worry as much as I do :)


    Hard to make a difference between people that just use the computer too much every now and then and people like me who feel its already a kind of compulsion taking over my life.

    Maybe you arent that much online as I am (6-12 hours a day)?

    Maybe you use the internet mostly for for useful stuff like medical research and connecting to friends and dont waste so much time online googling stupid things, other people and so on?

    Maybe you dont feel using the internet too much is affecting your health negatively as I do?

    Maybe its not that hard for you to shut down the computer because you feel the need to continue?
  16. CJB

    CJB Senior Member

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    I think the definition of an "addiction" is that it interferes with your "normal" life. If you feel it is negatively affecting your health, then you should take action. None of us want to make light of your concerns.

    How can we help? Glad you got the on-line support group joke. Made myself laugh on that one.
    merylg likes this.
  17. L'engle

    L'engle moderate ME

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    Or we could just pretend to be Max Headroom. Then it's all coooooool. :cool::D
    CJB likes this.
  18. Dreambirdie

    Dreambirdie work in progress

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    If you feel it is a true addiction, or that it is becoming one, and that it affects your life and health adversely, then maybe you should seriously consider monitoring how much time you spend online, by setting a timer, taking periodic breaks, and then investigating what happens to you every time that you turn the computer off.

    Timer dings.... Computer must go off. Then what....? Do you break into a cold sweat with withdrawal symptoms?(probably not) Do you feel disoriented and dazed, having to figure what else to do with your time and your consciousness? (maybe) Do you soon feel so bored and restless, that you immediately turn the computer back on, even though you promised yourself you would take breaks from it? (highly possible, from you describe)

    Ultimately, it boils down to doing an honest cost/benefit analysis of what being online is taking from you/giving you. This is something that ONLY YOU can assess and remedy. I wish you good luck with it.
    ahimsa, merylg and CJB like this.
  19. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    Hmmm, something bizarre happened to me yesterday. I stopped playing a computer game and wanted to turn around so I hit the arrow keys. Funny that it doesn't work in real life. ;) Bye, Alex
  20. taniaaust1

    taniaaust1 Senior Member

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    Im on the computer that much.. probably more as I cant be on my feet too long and the computer gives me something to do (otherwise I'd be just laying in bed watching DVDS).

    I do use the computer for researching stuff but there is only so much research one can do.. its not like a study comes out everyday. I google all kinds of things, it keeps me entertained.. nothing is worst then being BORED (ive found that boredom leads me to depression.. the computer keeps me happy, it also helps to keep me within my pacing limits).

    At times Ive certainly become concerned about the amount I use the computer but have ended up rationizing it as I can see now what Im doing is okay as it isnt like its causing me to miss out on other things. (Its my health which causes me to miss out on other things).

    There was a point where I could say I WAS addicted to it but my addiction wasnt to the computer as such.. it was to a computer GAME (a game Ive stopped playing cause I know I was addicted to that game.. I wouldnt even leave the computer to eat at times due to that game). I knew that game was unhealthy for me, the only way I could stop myself from playing it all the time was to completely ban myself from the game, the old version of "Evony"

    I used to get that with the game I was addicted too..

    I still at times do have trouble turning it off when I should do so but only if Im right in the middle of something (eg talking to someone or responding to a post) when it is really the time I should be going to bed but will then get off within the hour.

    If you are doing things which are really unhealthy for you.... you may be actually addicted but it isnt the time spent online itself which shows if you are addicted but rather what else is going on eg is it really interfering with your life? (only you can know that)

    If you are obsessing about it (I obsessed about it tons when I had that game addiction.. if I was doing something else, I was still thinking about the game).. you probably are addicted.
    (for me.. going COLD TURKEY (eg not doing it at all), was the only way to fix my Evony game addiction.. trying to play in short amounts didnt work as I couldnt control my game playing well and was like torture).

    You said you are spending hours looking up health stuff.. that may just be an obsession in wanting to know more about your illness and getting better... If you havent had this illness as long as some of us, it wouldnt be unusual to want to know all about it as you can.
    SickOfSickness likes this.

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