Could you be addicted to the internet? - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Could you be addicted to the internet?

(KFVS) -

Is the urge to check your phone or tablet a little too much?

You could be one of the thousands of Americans addicted to the internet.

A recent study found 16 percent of people ages 18 to 25 are hooked on their cell phones, social media and the internet.

Some even showing symptoms of drug and alcohol addictions.

Does your work suffer because of the amount of time you spend online? Do you lose sleep due to being online late at night?

If you answered yes, you might have an unhealthy relationship with the internet.

Being constantly connected with the internet, Facebook, twitter and other social networking sites could be very bad.

"It's a tool, but knowing when to cut it off and when to change it,” said Dr. David Van Pelt, a clinical psychologist.

He said excessive tech and Internet use can create dependence and addiction, neurologically and physically.

While it may seem harmless and everyone may be doing it, Doctor Van Pelt said it can take on a life of its own.

"I think there is going to be a lot more social isolation. People are not going to have those warm bonded connections, which puts them at a risk for other kinds of problems,” he said.

Addiction has become a reoccurring topic for many of his clients.

He said telling factors could be isolation from family and friends and lying about how much time you spend connected and feeling anxious when you're not.

Take this quiz to find out if you could be addicted to the internet: click here.

How can someone get help?

For a free confidential assessment, call the Illinois Institute for Addiction Recovery at (800) 522-3784. An assessment can be completed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

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