In helping oneself or others who are or may become involved in the compulsive use of the internet, pornography, or other addictive behaviors, there are two stages to be considered. Prevention strategies are considered to prevent usage from becoming compulsive, or to prevent relapse for those already in recovery. Intervention strategies are considered when usage and behaviors have become out of control and jeopardizing the health and wellbeing of the individual.
- When in doubt, talk to someone. Talking to a trusted friend or colleague can offer valuable insights into one’s behaviors. Addictive behaviors are fueled by secrecy.
- Seek out a clinical professional for an objective assessment.
- Keep and use the computer in a public space.
- Have a general plan for the management of devices – use technology, don’t let it use you. Such a plan might include setting time limits on the use of devices, having periods of the day when one is ‘free’ from technology, or limiting, realistically, how many devises one needs.
- Use of a parent control or monitoring software (see Parental Control Softwares below). Parental control software products are installed by sex and love addicts on computers, laptops, ipads, smartphones, and other mobile devices for two primary reasons: To help the addict stay away from inappropriate digital content and interactions, and to create accountability within the addict’s recovery.
- Educate oneself about the dangers of internet and pornography addictions.
- Stress management – maintain healthy, enjoyable, and relaxing activities that lower one’s overall stress level and improves psychological resiliency.