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Topic : 08/29 Internet Dramas

Number of Replies: 83
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Created on : Thursday, August 21, 2008, 04:08:59 am
Author : DrPhilBoard1
More than half of the households in America have one or more computers. These days, it’s common to surf the net, pay bills or even shop online, but do you know someone who spends way too much time on the computer? Dr. Phil’s guests are desperate to get their loved ones off the PC because their obsession with the Internet is causing major drama in their families and marriages. Chris and Virginia say they had no idea their 10-year-old daughter was having sexual conversations with men online, until a phone call in the middle of the night shocked them to their core. Parents, you won’t believe where the inappropriate conversations started! Then, meet Bob, a husband and father who is so addicted to the online game EverQuest that he admits he’s forgotten to feed his children! He spends up to 80 hours a week playing his computer game and has stopped eating with his family, playing with his kids and even sleeping in the same bed with his wife, Tiffany. See what happened when Tiffany gave him an ultimatum: give up the game or his family. And, meet a mom who spends all her time perfecting the online profiles she created for her dogs! Her two sons say, "What about us?" Join the discussion.

Find out what happened on the show.

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August 25, 2008, 6:32 am CDT

My Daughter and her PC

My daughter has 2 daughters one is autistic ,epiliptic,ADHD and bi-polar (say her Dr's) The older daughter has had multibol heart procedures., including open heart surgery .She started playing games on the PC because she had no social life taking care of her girls.Till it became her total escape and her daughters started feeling the neglect.The younger girl is now in a home for autistic children and goes to a special school.The other just turned 18 quit school has no idea what shes going to do with her self.She calls and complains to me all the time about her Mom.Can't get through to my daugther as when you try to talk to her she becomes very defensive and hangs up the phone.My heart goes out to them all.I have no more control over the situation then my daughter dose.
 
August 25, 2008, 7:05 am CDT

I Have Lived This - Needs to be taken more seriously

I am tired of the media making internet addiction a joke.

 

My first marriage was destroyed by internet addiction and its associated ease in pursuing pornography addiction and online sex chat.

 

My ex husband was hospitalized for depression in January 1997 when his internet life where he was telling people in online local chat that he was getting a divorce and had a much more lucrative career than he actually did collided with the fact that after 4 years of trying to get pregnant we finally were expecting.  He had not paid any of our bills for 3 months and had used the money to entertain new friends he had met online.

 

He was in the hospital for 1 week, then had inpatient day-care for 2 weeks while I had to figure out how to get our bills paid. There was tremendous pressure on me from that day forward to make sure that he never got too stressed and I lived in paralyzing fear that he would kill himself and I would have to explain that to our children.

 

I identified this as the problem when he was in the hospital but his doctor and social worker dismissed it. I was offered the opportunity to discuss if I wanted an abortion, but neither would listen to how obsessed he had become with going online from the time he got home from work, until 2 or 3 the next morning.  I later learned that he had started sneaking chat at work and had been on the verge of discovery up until he went in the hospital.

 

When he got home he was only able to stay off the computer for about 2 weeks then slowly came up with reasons why he needed to get back on.

 

Fast forward through 6 years of catching lying about long distance phone calls, mystery computer purchases, and sex chat logs I discovered.  He would in turn threaten to kill himself and get his medications changed.  He was on Trazadone, Zoloft, and Effexor but no one talked to him about obsessing over the computer.

 

I could not count on him to help me with anything around the house or to watch the kids.  I had to take part time jobs after the kids went to bed because he was entirely irrational with them expecting that they make no demands of him during his computer time. Most of the time when we visited family it was like the lights were on and nobody was at home.  I was so embarassed of him that he would make a beeline straight to the computer in any house we were visiting so he could check his email and get back onto chat. At family gatherings he was always at a computer. We had multiple notices and fines from our home owners association because he would not get off his butt to mow the lawn or do maintenance.  I was tremendously embarassed by our situation. 

 

I had trusted that he was visiting parenting websites and sharing information about being a father.  I learned instead that he was trolling a highly trusted national parenting website and looking at the pictures Moms had posted.  He admitted to starting to private message the "cute" ones and this is how the online sexual relationships started.  He later faked business trips to go meet 2 women in person. He lied to me and said that because he was new in a job that he did not have vacation or sick time.  He took one of these trips when our youngest daughter was only 4 weeks old after taking no time off for her birth. I have seen the chat logs and these women were online with him for at least 8 hours a day from work or home, so obviously they have an addiction too. But when you see that your husband is in a parenting chat you don't immediately think its about sex.

 

The final draw came when he was terminated from his position with the Federal Government for posting to message boards, online chat, and viewing pornography. He was so obsessed with this that using the software provided on his computer at work was not enough that he installed his own unauthorized programs and even tunneled through the firewall back to his home computer. Again, he was hospitalized for the depression that resulted in his life from his two worlds colliding. I left him to live with my parents and divorced 6 months later after attempting marriage therapy and learning that he had no understanding of the impact of his actions.  The adultery was acknowledged by the marriage therapist, but would not go into the impact of being a widow to his computer addiction. 

 

Even more infuriating was that the psych unit he was on had internet access! So while I was in deep grief over what was happening, he was allowed to go online! He never stopped his second online persona the whole time he was hospitalized. When he got visitation with the kids I caught him that he was posting to a pornographic website while the kids were in his care!  Despite having a court order that he is to stay offline when the kids were in his care, during their last visits the kids reported that Dad made them fly 3 hours to sit in his apartment while he typed on the computer!

 

I kept hearing over and over that well this is what he does for a living, so obviously it must mean that he gets a free pass or something to be on the computer 22 hours a day and neglect the rest of his life.

 

Today he is still addicted.  I can do a google search for his known monikers and see that he is still posting to several message boards. From the time date stamps I can tell he is still up to doing this while he is at work.  He has been fired from other jobs since the divorce I suspect for his online activities.

 

He has not seen his kids in 2 years, he does not pay his court ordered child support, and claims that all he can get is a part time job at a motel.  But I think he has that job because he can sit at a desk all night and post to the internet waiting for people to check in.

 

 His life is over until he has control over his desire to be a legend in his online mind. I am sick that he posts about being a father to kids he has not seen in two years.  He wants to do online chat and email with the kids and I have firmly said NO. My children will not be multitasked, I insist that their interactions be intentional and with a purpose.  He does not talk to them on the phone because you can tell he is distracted and typing away.

 

The only people I feel sorry for are my two kids age 8 and 11 that their father chooses to be an online narcissist versus the man I married years ago who once had real goals and a direction to his life.

 

 
August 25, 2008, 7:10 am CDT

addicted to the internet

I have a family member that is so addicted to the chat rooms that her marriage is virtually over.  She started talking to people innocently but now actually meets up with men that she meets.  Did I mention that she is married with children??  She sees no problem in actually meeting these men for "dates".  Her children and husband are discusted with her.  What a mess!!
 
August 25, 2008, 7:59 am CDT

Guilty

 

I am a retired woman that spends at least 90% on computer, playing games most of the time. I see nothing wrong with spending all that time on it. My husband is a TV nut and watches it 100% of his time when not sleeping. I'm doing nothing wrong and think its my business how much time i spend on it. I am not hurting anyone and enjoy playing games so much.

 
August 25, 2008, 8:36 am CDT

Understanding Addiction

Quote From: chriskramar

I am tired of the media making internet addiction a joke.

 

My first marriage was destroyed by internet addiction and its associated ease in pursuing pornography addiction and online sex chat.

 

My ex husband was hospitalized for depression in January 1997 when his internet life where he was telling people in online local chat that he was getting a divorce and had a much more lucrative career than he actually did collided with the fact that after 4 years of trying to get pregnant we finally were expecting.  He had not paid any of our bills for 3 months and had used the money to entertain new friends he had met online.

 

He was in the hospital for 1 week, then had inpatient day-care for 2 weeks while I had to figure out how to get our bills paid. There was tremendous pressure on me from that day forward to make sure that he never got too stressed and I lived in paralyzing fear that he would kill himself and I would have to explain that to our children.

 

I identified this as the problem when he was in the hospital but his doctor and social worker dismissed it. I was offered the opportunity to discuss if I wanted an abortion, but neither would listen to how obsessed he had become with going online from the time he got home from work, until 2 or 3 the next morning.  I later learned that he had started sneaking chat at work and had been on the verge of discovery up until he went in the hospital.

 

When he got home he was only able to stay off the computer for about 2 weeks then slowly came up with reasons why he needed to get back on.

 

Fast forward through 6 years of catching lying about long distance phone calls, mystery computer purchases, and sex chat logs I discovered.  He would in turn threaten to kill himself and get his medications changed.  He was on Trazadone, Zoloft, and Effexor but no one talked to him about obsessing over the computer.

 

I could not count on him to help me with anything around the house or to watch the kids.  I had to take part time jobs after the kids went to bed because he was entirely irrational with them expecting that they make no demands of him during his computer time. Most of the time when we visited family it was like the lights were on and nobody was at home.  I was so embarassed of him that he would make a beeline straight to the computer in any house we were visiting so he could check his email and get back onto chat. At family gatherings he was always at a computer. We had multiple notices and fines from our home owners association because he would not get off his butt to mow the lawn or do maintenance.  I was tremendously embarassed by our situation. 

 

I had trusted that he was visiting parenting websites and sharing information about being a father.  I learned instead that he was trolling a highly trusted national parenting website and looking at the pictures Moms had posted.  He admitted to starting to private message the "cute" ones and this is how the online sexual relationships started.  He later faked business trips to go meet 2 women in person. He lied to me and said that because he was new in a job that he did not have vacation or sick time.  He took one of these trips when our youngest daughter was only 4 weeks old after taking no time off for her birth. I have seen the chat logs and these women were online with him for at least 8 hours a day from work or home, so obviously they have an addiction too. But when you see that your husband is in a parenting chat you don't immediately think its about sex.

 

The final draw came when he was terminated from his position with the Federal Government for posting to message boards, online chat, and viewing pornography. He was so obsessed with this that using the software provided on his computer at work was not enough that he installed his own unauthorized programs and even tunneled through the firewall back to his home computer. Again, he was hospitalized for the depression that resulted in his life from his two worlds colliding. I left him to live with my parents and divorced 6 months later after attempting marriage therapy and learning that he had no understanding of the impact of his actions.  The adultery was acknowledged by the marriage therapist, but would not go into the impact of being a widow to his computer addiction. 

 

Even more infuriating was that the psych unit he was on had internet access! So while I was in deep grief over what was happening, he was allowed to go online! He never stopped his second online persona the whole time he was hospitalized. When he got visitation with the kids I caught him that he was posting to a pornographic website while the kids were in his care!  Despite having a court order that he is to stay offline when the kids were in his care, during their last visits the kids reported that Dad made them fly 3 hours to sit in his apartment while he typed on the computer!

 

I kept hearing over and over that well this is what he does for a living, so obviously it must mean that he gets a free pass or something to be on the computer 22 hours a day and neglect the rest of his life.

 

Today he is still addicted.  I can do a google search for his known monikers and see that he is still posting to several message boards. From the time date stamps I can tell he is still up to doing this while he is at work.  He has been fired from other jobs since the divorce I suspect for his online activities.

 

He has not seen his kids in 2 years, he does not pay his court ordered child support, and claims that all he can get is a part time job at a motel.  But I think he has that job because he can sit at a desk all night and post to the internet waiting for people to check in.

 

 His life is over until he has control over his desire to be a legend in his online mind. I am sick that he posts about being a father to kids he has not seen in two years.  He wants to do online chat and email with the kids and I have firmly said NO. My children will not be multitasked, I insist that their interactions be intentional and with a purpose.  He does not talk to them on the phone because you can tell he is distracted and typing away.

 

The only people I feel sorry for are my two kids age 8 and 11 that their father chooses to be an online narcissist versus the man I married years ago who once had real goals and a direction to his life.

 

     What gets me in your post is "their father chooses to be an online narcissist".
When someone is addicted they don't just "choose" to continue to pursue their addiction. They are driven towards it with a severe "need".
You don't say that an alcoholic "chooses" to stay drunk, nor would you accept that an alcoholic is allowed "one beer" and "only on saturdays".
One can not take a person who is addicted to the internet and "allow" them to use the internet at all and expect them not to feed their addiction.


 
August 25, 2008, 8:44 am CDT

When is it an Addiction and when Not?

  Here I go, using myself as an example again.
Most people speak of how many hours on the computer when they talk about the addiction, but few are bothered enough to look at the whole of the situation. Yes, as some have mentioned here so far, there are clear and obvious addics out there and I do not mean to lighten that situation. However, I'm a 25 year old with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. Finding the energy to get up in the morning is enough to render me exhausted for most of the day. I work a few hours a day, I work on my art, I eat right and make sure I keep moving, but after all that I have no drive left to "go out" and socialize. My computer "is" my social life because I have no where else left to go at the end of the day that I have any energy to go.
Couple that with working on my book and playing music through the comuter while I work on my art and I'm raking up an enormous number of hours on the box each week. Does that alone make me addicted? No.
I can leave the computer at home when I do leave it for a few days, but I'd rather not as I feel disconnected from the people I would call my friends.

And to those that would argue that people on the internet are not friends I'd like to remind you that just because you're talking to a friend on the phone or online, doesn't make them a different person. Every nickname, every online alias, is somewhere, in the real world, a real human being, as am I.
Each person you speak with through the means of your keyboard is Still a human being.

 
August 25, 2008, 10:59 am CDT

Internet addiction

 I am just here to say I've been down this tail before.  In 2001 I got hurt at a track meet my son was at in Cincy.  The injury keep me down for almost a year.  I had nothing to do with my time but get on the internet.  I couldnt work.  I took care of the house and when the time came took care of my children.  I was divorced at the time so my time was mine.  I lived on the net, I've met many people.  I was so nieve to what could happen.  I ran chat rooms, and everyone knew me as 1wish.  I couldnt count the number of people I've met, Thanks only to God that nothing ever happend to me or my children.  I am married now once again.  In the past 12 years I was divorced this is the one thing I'm truly ashamed of ever doing.  I took the computer we bought for the family and lived on it.  I thought the people needed me that visited the chat rooms.  They became company when I had none.  I talked with a man fro m Egypt for about a year , listen to him wanting to get married and me come over there and then he would come back here to live with me and my children.  I am glad that the inner voice in my wasnt comfortable enough to take him up on this.  Now  It's all I can do to sit at the computer and check e-mail.  My story could go on and on.  I've meet men that said they were single on to find they were married. I have children at home and I keep up with who they are chatting and most  of all how much time is spent on the computer.  Plz be careful not all people are good.  I didnt realize and I'm 50 that people would lie to you.  Laugh but peopel would send pic, talk on here and I would have people warn me that not everyone was honest.

If that other person in your head is talking to you you might listen to what they are warning you.

S.M in Kentucky

 
August 25, 2008, 11:21 am CDT

08/29 Internet Dramas

Quote From: freetha

     What gets me in your post is "their father chooses to be an online narcissist".
When someone is addicted they don't just "choose" to continue to pursue their addiction. They are driven towards it with a severe "need".
You don't say that an alcoholic "chooses" to stay drunk, nor would you accept that an alcoholic is allowed "one beer" and "only on saturdays".
One can not take a person who is addicted to the internet and "allow" them to use the internet at all and expect them not to feed their addiction.


I am glad this discussion is going on.

 

If someone would have held my hand years ago and acknowledged that I was living with an addict, and to handle the relationship that way, then my decision making would have been clearer.

 

I truly hope that support becomes available for the people who live with someone who has this addiction.

 

I used to cry to my friends, my mother, even my minister that I was so sad and my husband was doing nothing to contribute to the family.  As long as he had a full time job they insisted that I had to give him his computer time.  I was told that he had a "social anxiety disorder" and that the computer was the only thing to relieve his stress.  His therapists never looked at how he was not functioning in real life.  His social skills decreased over time. 

 

He cannot exist without being the version of himself that he wants to be online. 

 

I even had a marriage therapist suggest that I get my own separate computer and logins so that I could participate online with him.  This was unrealistic because then who would be watching the kids!

 

I was told that I was over reacting too many times, but now see it was because therapists (many of whom were in their 60's at the time) had little or no exposure to online life and could not see its addictive qualities.

 

I doubt that he has found a therapist who really gets it.  But he has to be the one who wants help.  I doubt that he does because what he is doing works for him.  The enablers in his life pat themselves on the back that at least he is not an alcoholic, but don't get it that what he does is equally destructive.

 

 

 
August 25, 2008, 11:22 am CDT

08/29 Internet Dramas

Quote From: freetha

     What gets me in your post is "their father chooses to be an online narcissist".
When someone is addicted they don't just "choose" to continue to pursue their addiction. They are driven towards it with a severe "need".
You don't say that an alcoholic "chooses" to stay drunk, nor would you accept that an alcoholic is allowed "one beer" and "only on saturdays".
One can not take a person who is addicted to the internet and "allow" them to use the internet at all and expect them not to feed their addiction.


I am glad this discussion is going on.

 

If someone would have held my hand years ago and acknowledged that I was living with an addict, and to handle the relationship that way, then my decision making would have been clearer.

 

I truly hope that support becomes available for the people who live with someone who has this addiction.

 

I used to cry to my friends, my mother, even my minister that I was so sad and my husband was doing nothing to contribute to the family.  As long as he had a full time job they insisted that I had to give him his computer time.  I was told that he had a "social anxiety disorder" and that the computer was the only thing to relieve his stress.  His therapists never looked at how he was not functioning in real life.  His social skills decreased over time. 

 

He cannot exist without being the version of himself that he wants to be online. 

 

I even had a marriage therapist suggest that I get my own separate computer and logins so that I could participate online with him.  This was unrealistic because then who would be watching the kids!

 

I was told that I was over reacting too many times, but now see it was because therapists (many of whom were in their 60's at the time) had little or no exposure to online life and could not see its addictive qualities.

 

I doubt that he has found a therapist who really gets it.  But he has to be the one who wants help.  I doubt that he does because what he is doing works for him.  The enablers in his life pat themselves on the back that at least he is not an alcoholic, but don't get it that what he does is equally destructive.

 

 
August 25, 2008, 12:41 pm CDT

Everquest

As soon as I saw Everquest was an issue for one couple I thought I was in a timewarp.

My second husband played this game 7 hours a day and on his days off as many hours as he could.

He was addicted to playing.  I tried playing, thinking if I could beat him at it he'd quit, but I was wrong.

After a year of this obsessive behavior I left him.  My lawyer was shocked when I told him how many hours he played that game.

When my daughters started playing Second Life I reminded them about how their step father had played "forever"quest.  They cut back a LOT.  Now they rarely play since they have a first life to live.

Try to live your life and enjoy your family and friends.  You may only be here a short while and you miss out on making memories.

 

 
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