How do I Overcome Computer Addiction?

Sheri Cyprus

Overcoming a life-disrupting computer addiction may be something you can do on your own, or it may require professional counseling. If you're ignoring your family, friends, self-grooming or other important facets of your life by spending too much time on the computer, the first thing you can try is to set a limit for yourself. Decide what you need and want to do on the computer the most, but set a reasonable limit that can fit into a well-balanced lifestyle for yourself.

One can overcome a computer addiction by gradually reducing time online.
One can overcome a computer addiction by gradually reducing time online.

A "reasonable limit" of computer time will differ depending on the person, but you should be able to enjoy a few hours of your favorite games, chat forums or whatever you like to do online without feeling compelled to keep doing these things over the limit you set. If you give yourself a daily limit, overcoming your computer addiction may be much easier, because when it's time to stop, you can remind yourself that you'll be able to continue again tomorrow.

In extreme cases of computer addiction a therapist may need to be consulted.
In extreme cases of computer addiction a therapist may need to be consulted.

Self-help by reading up on the field and its treatment could also help you overcome your life-disrupting addiction. One popular self-help method for overcoming a computer addiction is to start by gradually reducing your time online. For instance, you could just take an hour less from the time you currently spend on the Internet on the first day, and depending on how that works out, keep reducing your hours offline. If you can gain control of how much time you spend online in order to live a more balanced, healthy life, you may not need professional help for the problem.

If after setting time limits and trying to spend less total hours on the computer, you're still having trouble with an online addiction, it's advisable to seek professional help. Look for therapy options that don't consider computer addiction to be a joke, but instead recognize Internet addiction disorder (IAD). Since the whole concept of Internet addiction is fairly new, it may take you some time to find a qualified therapist with experience in that field.

After you do find some professional IAD treatment options, you should research and question the methods involved before agreeing to a particular therapy. For example, some therapists treat computer addiction with antidepressants, hypnosis or both, and these options may not be best for everyone who is spending too much time online. Especially since this area of compulsive disorders is new, don't rush into therapy without understanding whether or not a certain treatment is likely to be the best one for you.

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Discussion Comments


I was a computer addict. I overcame it by writing a to-do-list every single day. Until I finished those tasks, I did not turn on the computer. I also spent two summers at my grandparent's house where I did not have access to a computer.


@donasmrs-- I think you need to speak to a professional about computer addiction treatment. There are also support groups for computer addiction and those are very helpful as well.

Parents and loved ones need to be a bit strict but also understanding when it comes to addictions. If you are too strict and authoritative, it will backfire. And if you are too understanding, the addiction will continue. So there has to be a balance of both. You need to put your foot down about his computer use but also show that you care about him.

I read somewhere that people with low self-esteem or depression are more likely to be addicted to computer games. Because they use video games to escape from reality. So if your son has problems in his personal life, at home or at school, I think that resolving those problems will help him overcome his addiction.


My son has an addiction to computer games. If allowed, he can play computer games for ten hours or more at a time. I tried taking away his computer, but then he goes to friends' houses to use theirs. So that doesn't work. The more I talk to him about his computer use, the more angry he becomes.

What can I do to help him overcome this computer game addiction?

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