UK Council for Psychotherapy

UKCP

Accredited Psychotherapist

British Association for
Counselling & Psychotherapy

BACP

Accredited Counsellor

Counselling for Addictions
Central London, Camden, Kings Cross, London NW1
Glen Gibson - Dip. Counselling, MA Psychotherapy, Dip. Psychotherapy
UKCP & mBACP Accredited male Addiction Counsellor & Psychotherapist

therapy@counselling-london.org.uk 020 7916 1342

Unwanted Habits & Addictions

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Addiction Counselling London - Online Chat Addiction Help, Online Chatting Addiction, Internet Chat Room Addiction, Online Dating Addiction
Online Chat Addiction, Chat Room Addiction & Internet Dating Addiction

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Internet Chat Addiction, Internet Romance, Internet Affairs Online chatting provides fresh and different ways to contact others and communicate. Our chat room activities offer us the ability to chat and connect with anyone around the world, however we want to, even anonymously. We may enjoy chatting, flirting. Believing we are anonymous we may behave in less inhibitive ways. Internet forums, chatrooms and specialist websites can be useful way to find others whose interests are similar. Bored or curious, simply wanting to contact others, or wanting excitement, escape or fantasy, we may turn to online chat rooms. Forums or (virtual) chatting online can provide us with an escape from reality and be a place when we can lower inhibitions, or increase a sense of intimacy. Online social networking sites and the brevity of messages may feed our chat room addiction, . Some of us may struggle with our offline interactions. Constantly online chatting may point to our need for approval, affirmation, reassurance, recognition, validation, appreciation, praise, permission and confirmation. Looking after our own needs may be a challenge. The internet can be a valuable and healthy way to meet men and women, and use internet dating. In cyber relationships the element of risk, (e.g. rejection) is reduced and we may feel safer.

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Online Chat Addiction? We may experience internet chatting as our "treat", an enjoyable, safe and harmless way of relating with others through words, images, emojis ☺, etc. - and many times it is. Yet, some of us may become unable to stop turning to online chat rooms as if it consumes us, and after a while can become addictive, affecting our moods especially if people don't reply or respond quickly enough. We may also worry about our worry about our text, mobile use. We can get a heightened adrenaline "rush" through the flurries of exchanges. Things can get whipped up into a frenzy, and we may struggle to restrain things. We may hide the extension of what we do from others. Seeking connection, ironically we may feel disconnected inside. Our chatroom addiction may have begun to replace real life friendships and family. Things may have got out of balance. We may be worried about the amount of time we are spending with online chat, internet chat, cyber chat or internet dating - whatever label we give to it: online chat addiction, online chatting addiction, chatline addiction, internet chat addiction. When overused, the time we are spending chatting online may be interfering with our relationship or marriage, other social relationships, work, health and other aspects. Preoccupied by our cyber chat activities, we may have tried unsuccessfully to cut down our internet chatting usage, yet we remain online longer than we really want to (maybe even kidding us or others about the amount of time we spend online). When obsessively online chatting, we may have a rigid relating state or have become lost at times, as if we were in trance. Some may call our problem internet chat room addiction, even though we are relating with others online. Other may simply view it as a compulsive behaviour, not a chat addiction. Either way we may be seeking chat addiction help.

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Questioning What We've Got Into Hooked we can't now stop internet chats, as if our online chat behaviour has an addictive edge. Things could have become more serious than we had intended. It can be exciting when the online relationship becomes like an emotional affair. If we don't get a response, we can miss the "rush", and it can seem as if getting the "rush" can be more important than seeing the person themselves. Drawn in, we can build up an attachment to someone we may, or may not, have met, as the relationship becomes intense. Sexual chatting may be frequent (see Sexualised Conversations). We may become caught up with a particular person, as the internet chat develops into an amorous, flirtatious or sexual encounter. At times we may forget that they (or even we) are real and become disinhibited in what we say, show. For some this is not a problem, yet others may have become lost, questioning whether their online chat room experience is fantasy, real or both. We may try to hold on to a fantasy of our own making, and want to believe it - maybe seeing what we want to see. We can share things we wouldn't dream of sharing elsewhere. Messages sent or received can be misconstrued and we may analyse every word. We can read into the meaning, yet intention, tone of the written words, moods and nuances can be misinterpreted. If we don't get a quick enough response, then we may perceive them as not listening or uncaring. We may wonder if they, and indeed us, have taken on an online persona. They are there, yet not there. A part of us may want to keep the fantasy a fantasy, yet another part of us may want to make it more real. Conjecture can play a big part. "Who are they really?", "What is real?" and "What am I really doing?" we may consider. Wondering what our online friend is thinking whether they are genuine or checking up online social network sites may consume us, especially if this person in our life has a patterns of disappearing, vanishing, ghosting. Shutting other things out, we may have difficulty concentrating. Embroiled, we (and others) can behave online so differently. We may be in emotional turmoil and project onto others our own thoughts, hopes, desires, imagination with someone we don't actually know. Our chat addiction may creep up on us and, like Pandora's box, affect us and others, as we struggle to take a pause, reflect on our emotions.

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Meeting Someone Online Through Internet Chat, Internet Dating, Lonely Hearts Despite all our online activity we may be lonely inside, wanting to escape the world we experience as alienating or pressurised, fill a gap, so we enter into our own world of chat, dating. Caught in our "internet chatroom addiction" we may have begun to question what we've got into, using online chat as a distraction. "What to do?", "What if?" may be questions we have. Continuously texting, phoning, emailing, we may become worried when we don't hear from our online friend, getting anxious if the gap seems too long, not knowing what to do. We may have concerns that if we meet, we become more real. Creating scenarios in our head, we may fall in love with people we have only met online, whose personalities are a mystery (see also Love Addiction, Romance Addiction & Obsessive Love). Our "internet chat rooms addiction" may have developed to chatting on the telephone or be building up to meeting. The experience of online chats can have an intensity and quality very different to that of our relationships off line. This is especially so if we are also in a flesh and blood relationship, which we may be neglecting, sabotaging. Letting down our guard, the level of intimacy we are sharing in our online chats may compete with the intimate relationship with our partner and may have become obsessive. We may question how else we can respond to our drives, urges, impulses, passion, need for connection. By now we may wonder if we are addicted to chat, have a chatroom addiction. A little out of control or disinhibited, we may experience guilt, dilemmas, and want to discuss these in counselling and psychotherapy.

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Sexualised Conversations Flirting, sexual chatting, phone sex, web-camming may become a regular part of what we do, and it can feel like we are going around in a spiral, caught up in something as if we are unaware of the impact of what we say (see also Over-Talking, Oversharing - Balance Between Withholding Or Sharing All Our Thoughts, Over-Talking, Oversharing - Whether Or Not To Share Our Feelings - Taking Responsibility & Care For Our Feelings). We may question what is appropriate, where a part of us enjoys this exploration, yet another part may feel uncomfortable, ashamed or guilty. The online relationship may become sexual (cybersex), turning into a cyberaffair, online affair (see also Seeing Someone Else, Affairs, Infidelity, Cheating In Our Relationship).

Online Dating Addiction, Internet Dating Addiction We may enjoy the immediacy of quick fix social apps, dating apps, flicking from one image to the next in order to connect. Some may be content with fantasy and flirtation, hanging around with no intention of taking the relationship further - breadcrumbing or ghosting. Others may be dissatisfied with keyboard communication and may turn to meeting in the flesh yet this doesn't happen. Some may turn to chatlines, internet dating, lonely hearts for casual sex, we may be questioning if we are addicted to internet dating, have an addiction to online dating For some people "internet dating", having casual sex is a rewarding experience, offering a chance to explore and experiment with our sexuality. For others it presents problems, concerns or a sense of alienation, especially if we are in an existing relationship or marriage or are searching for a meaningful relationship, which can be brought to counselling and psychotherapy. By now we may have what is termed online dating addiction or internet dating addiction (see also Love Addiction, Romance Addiction & Obsessive Love). Some of us may struggle to integrate our sexuality with other parts of our lives, so it is less compartmentalised. Others when dating online may find love elusive.

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Questions About Counselling For Online Chatting Addiction, Chat Site Addiction

  • Am I an online chatting addict?
  • How does counselling for chat sites addiction help?
  • How else can I respond to my online chatroom addiction?

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