I think I'm becoming an internet addict as an escape from caregiving. Is this affecting anyone else? - AgingCare.com

I think I'm becoming an internet addict as an escape from caregiving. Is this affecting anyone else?

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I am a live-in caregiver for my 95 year old father and my 76 year old sister who is suffering from cancer and effects of chemo. I rarely get to leave the house, so I have been using the internet excessively to somehow see and connect with the outside world. I stay up late online for hours when they are sleeping and get very little sleep. I have been clinically depressed for many years, and it seems to make me feel better for a short while. When things get bad here, the first thing I want to do is get online. I am definitely not at my best to take care of them, and I always feel hung over as if I had been drinking or something, but I just can't seem to avoid it. I do some design work online, and use it for necessary things like organizing appointments, bills, and supporting causes I care about, but one link leads to another. I was an addictions counselor years ago and I see some similarities between this and alcohol and drug addictions.

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I think that I have become an internet addict and AC is the main place that I visit. Since I'm not as extroverted as I used to be, this is a great way to keep in contact with people.
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If I didn't have my computers and tablets, I would go 'stark raving mad' - yes you read that right, 2 computers and 4 tablets. Mostly I play games (free games) and it relaxes my brain. Even when I sleep, DH will wake me as he can't always get up by himself.

Am I addicted? Don't know and don't care. We do what we need to do in order to cope with the situations at hand. You didn't ask to be a caregiver and if playing online helps you to cope - go for it. Just don't get hooked into the games that will bleed you dry $$. There are plenty of free games available, especially on the computer.

Hugs honey, we're all in this together.
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Escapism? Maybe, but my life would be intolerable without the internet, it is such a boon for people who really can't go out to interact with real people. As you know it only becomes a problem when it starts to interfere with things you want to do or actually increases isolation because you choose to spent time online rather than going out.
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Raising hand, yes me too. My hobby use to be politics and I would do a ton of research to have on hand to counter-point issues with others on political forums.

Then when I had the journey with my parents helping them for 7 years, I had to give up much of my political hobby as I was just too tired. Sad, as I had really enjoyed political activity. Then I found Aging Care. Any time I found I had some free time, it was Aging Care that I went to.... then at work, when things were slow, yep, was on Aging Care.

Since my parents had passed, I started spending mega, and I mean mega time on Ancestry doing research. Yes, I was gaining a lot of information but I was over doing it. It wasn't like I had a deadline, I had just became OCD about it.

It was all an escape. I now have time to do politics again, but this season politics has become out of control, and I just don't want to dive into that pool at this time. Cemeteries and tombstones of past relatives are more interesting :P
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I’ve said it before - I’m so glad I didn’t have the internet when I was a child or teenager. I would have become a grey, pastey mole - never leaving the house, sitting in my room with the glare of the computer screen being my only source of light.

As it is, I’m a complete geek about googling anything- everything. A random thought will enter my mind - “I wonder when civilization discovered coffee...” let’s just google that!

YouTube is a black hole. I’ll go to look up something I need - something useful- how to change the head on my vacuum cleaner... but noticing all the topics listed to the side leads to one click - then another - and I find myself watching videos of a cat in a shark costume riding a roomba - and four hours has passed.

I also develop obsessions for a particular niche. Right now it’s Airbnb. I look at all the different places to stay all over the world - looking at the decor, the uniqueness of a place - a treehouse in Bali, a cave-house on Santorini...

First thing in the morning - every morning? A cup of coffee, a couple of cigarettes and a quick sweep through my gaming sites - collecting my free tokens and boosters.

I suspose there are worse addictions- coffee and cigarettes, for instance...
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I'm glad that I have held off on Facebook. People may think that I'm quite crazy, but, I have no desire to have anything to do with it.

What bothers me the most, is that kids seem to have lost so much of their parent's attention, because they are too obsessed with the internet. And for these parents to spend so much time online, they sure don't seem to find much that's helpful, like children's nutrition, education or development. It's just useless garbage that doesn't benefit their kids at all. Okay. Rant over.
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Yes.. this is effecting me the same. Like you.. I have to go on the internet and am a programmer with a home office.. so I have to go online.

For me, I think it has to do with loneliness and escapism. I can waste so much time online tho.. it does concern me. First thing when I get up I grab my phone and ipad.. before I sign on to my work laptop... lol. Sometimes on the weekend I will grab my ipad in the morning and look up.. and half my day is gone.

I guess anything that you are relying on and using as a crutch to get through the day could be considered an addiction. I need to try some internet free days .... wonder if I will start detoxing.. lol.
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I was an early adopter of the internet, so I don't even know. I still have a flip phone instead of a smartphone because I've been waffling on switching for 7 years, but it's probably a good thing I don't have a pocket computer like that. But I can't imagine life without my laptop. The internet changed my life! The access to information, the things I could do, the people I could reach....I think there are incredibly positive things about it. And right now, when I'm kind of trapped in my mother's apartment most of the time, and I'm never gonna crochet....it helps pass the time and sometimes I learn stuff, which is good.

They do say the blue screen light interferes with sleep patterns, and maybe that enables the addictive side of it....you're not sleepy, so you decide to stay online a little longer, just one more scroll....there is free app that changes the screen light in the evening (I swear I don't work for or know anyone at the company):

/justgetflux.com/
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To much of a coincidence not to share.

I’m sitting on the deck - coffee, cigarettes and online... hubby is inside about 15’ away, separated by a mere sliding glass door... hubby wanted to tell me something- he texted me.
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I was just thinking of both my parents' TV habits throughout their lives , which I always considered addiction, and wondering if the internet is just the "next generation" of technology addiction!
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