Technology can be very helpful in providing information, efficiencies, and providing enjoyment. But overuse and addiction to technology can cause serious issues to your relationships, your job and your health.
You might feel that you can “quit anytime,” but the truth is the “rush” you experience from technology produces the same chemical reaction in your brain that stimulants like heroin produce. Dopamine, the pleasure chemical, is released when we have a pleasurable experience, and the body begins to crave that sensation.
If we cause that release in excess over time – via prolonged heroin use, or prolonged technology use – our body becomes conditioned to that and will reduce its natural production of dopamine because it is being substituted by the unnatural production stimulated by the external sources.
Over time, you become addicted to the sensation that only the input can provide. For a drug addict, it can be heroin. For the digital addict, it can be the perceived need to interact with their digital devices gaming, texting or chatting on their social networks, or surfing pornography.
Personal relationships suffer as you withdrawal from normal and healthy engagement with friends and family. Professional relationships suffer as work is often degraded because of distraction from digital devices, or fatigue from a lack of sleep while spending inordinate amounts of time online.
While digital addiction is often not the primary cause for seeking treatment, The Center sees it more and more as a strong secondary, co-occurring or dual diagnosed issue. Its addictive hold can be powerful, and treatment is required to help restore balance and happiness.