Monday, 9 May 2011

Do You Have "IAD"?

I am coming to the conclusion that if you don’t have some letters associated with your name you are just not part of main stream America. To be certain there are specific manifestations associated with people who suffer from ADD (attention deficit disorder), ADHD (ADD with hyperactivity) or OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder). These disorders can wreak havoc on relationships. Too often the disorder can become an excuse for a person’s behavior and/or becomes that person’s identity.

Enter a new set of letters. “IAD” (internet addictive disorder) is referred to as a disorder but in fact is an addiction similar to drugs and alcohol and can have some of the same disastrous effects on one’s work performance, or relations with family and friends that result from other addictions.

IAD may be even more insidious since computers are far more accessible to far more people for far less money than other addictions. And at first the addiction might seem harmless at first, a victimless crime at worst.

This disorder affects marriages in many ways. Pornography, an addiction of its own, is a subset of IAD. Video games, work, Facebook, blogs, chat rooms, and even ESPN often become so consuming that intimacy and even the care of children suffer greatly.

Symptoms of a computer addiction include both psychological and physical problems. People feel an inability to stop using the computer. They may feel irritable, anxious, or depressed when not on the computer. Their addiction impacts them socially as they neglect friends and family to spend time online. It may cause problems at work as well. The addicted person may call in sick or use paid work time to use a company computer for personal use. Physical problems may include difficulty sleeping, headaches, dry eyes, and carpal tunnel. People sometimes don’t eat regularly due to their computer use as well and they may skip meals altogether. Their hygiene may also become poor as they spend all the time on the computer instead of showering and caring for themselves.

Ideally couples should go to bed at the same time. If you or your spouse is regularly on the computer when it is bed time seek help consider reading Crossroads by Ed Welch is a very good book on addictions and/or seek counseling.

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