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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5453
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Hello I am a 21 year old male with a problem breaking my habit

Customer Question

Hello I am a 21 year old male with a problem breaking my habit of planning things out and never sticking to them, I am a Uni student and I work 4 nights a week and I always seem to make really good plans but they always fail and I never get anywhere especially when it comes to my diet and study. I believe it is linked to my internet addiction which I also need help getting rid of, please help.
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 11 months ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your problems.

It sounds like you have two issues here. One is motivation. The other is an internet addiction. They may be related, as you said. Motivation, or lack of, can affect many areas of your life including being able to address an addiction.

In order to deal with these issues, it might help to address them separately, at least at first. When dealing with motivation, many people see it has a "have to". Popular belief is if you are not willing to follow through and do what you "have to" you are a failure. What is not realized is that motivation comes with how you see something rather than a "have to" action.

Because motivation issues can come from different causes, it is helpful to address possible causes first. One possible cause is ADD. You mention always feeling that you make plans but do not stick to them. That can be a symptom of ADD. It is very helpful to have this diagnosis ruled out first just in case. If you do have ADD, it would be treated much differently than if you just have a motivation issue. Try setting an appointment with a therapist or psychiatrist for an evaluation. Your doctor can refer you to someone if you want.

If you do just have motivation issues, here is a resource you can use to help yourself (it is for ADHD but it helps in any situation):

http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/11/26/9-ways-for-adults-with-adhd-to-get-motivated/

Internet addiction is another issue. Here are some steps to deal with internet addiction:

One, realizing that you have a problem. In drug addiction, breaking through denial is the first step to overcoming addiction. And this is true for internet addiction as well. The internet is so much a part of life now that realizing that your use has become a problem can be difficult. But if your use is interrupting your relationships, making you ignore responsibilities or even affecting your health, it has become a problem. Seeing those signs and realizing that you need help is an important step.

Two, getting support. You cannot do this alone. Trying alone is an option, but without support, it is easy to fail. Therapy is a great place to start. Talking to a therapist can help you see why you have this addiction and ways you can alter your behavior. Insight is also important. Once you know that you have a problem and what to do, it is hard to go back to ignoring the problem. Also, include friends and family in helping you stop. Make yourself accountable to them. If you have someone asking you if being on the internet was the reason why you didn't come to dinner, then it is harder to deceive yourself or lie about it to avoid facing your problem.

Three, changing your behavior. It is important to recognize all the ways that the internet addiction has affected how you behave with others and with yourself. Find out what your triggers are. Do you feel lonely and that is why you go on? Are you using the internet to cope with your feelings? Low self esteem, depression, anxiety and other issues can drive your need to avoid life and stay on the computer. In order to cope with these behaviors, along with getting help, try writing out how you feel when you want to be on the internet. Link the feelings with the need and find new ways to address how you feel. Also, set a timer and keep yourself accountable for how long you are on. When the timer goes off, shut everything down. You are done. Find new things to do. List some activities you are willing to do instead. Challenge yourself and go outside of your comfort zone. Have friends and family call during the times you are usually on to talk with you. Anything you feel would work to distract you.

I hope this has helped,
Kate

Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5453
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC and 3 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 10 months ago.

Thank you for your advice, It has helped me I also find myself sometimes suffering from things such as hypochondria (I think I have HIV every time I am intimate with someone new despite using protection), low self esteem, never feeling good enough and sometimes infidelity with my current partner. I feel like I have no emotion sometimes and that this may be due to a break up I had almost 2 years ago where a girl broke up with me to be more promiscuous. I wonder if any of these things are linked with my current problems.

Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 10 months ago.
Thank you! I am glad it helped.

I would be more than happy to continue working with you on any new questions you have. All I ask is that you remember to rate my answers for each new/different question you ask. Or you can start a new question thread and rate that answer. Thanks!

Kate

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