What Are The Treatment Options For Social Media Addiction?

When considering treatment for social media addiction, many people wonder if professional treatment is even an option for themselves or their loved one. Although social media addiction has been gaining recognition as a real, diagnosable condition in recent years, it is still not a recognized disorder in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). However, there are still several options for treatment for a social media addiction.

Treatment interventions for social media addiction include therapy options such as cognitive behavioral therapy, dialectical behavior therapy, motivational interviewing, group counseling sessions, and other holistic forms of treatment. These therapies can be done in an outpatient or inpatient setting, as well as online.

For those seeking in-person therapy, they may utilize a therapist directory to see which therapists specialize in helping people with addictive behaviors such as social media addiction in their area. Since social media addiction can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem, finding therapists that are trained to help people with these common co-occurring issues is a good idea.

Unlike a drug or alcohol addiction, social media addiction does not cause physical withdrawal symptoms where detox must be monitored by medical professionals. Because of this, those seeking treatment for a social media addiction may be able to overcome their addiction without entering a residential treatment facility.

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What Level Of Care Do I Need?

The level of care you’ll need depends on the severity of the addiction, the presence of any co-occurring mental illnesses or substance use disorders, and many other factors. If you have just started to see the adverse effects of social media use, such as lower productivity at work or issues in your home life, in-person or online therapy may be a reasonable first step.

A licensed therapist will work with you to address the underlying issues for your social media addiction, such as using it to avoid uncomfortable or negative emotions or relying on it for feelings of validation and self-worth. If you are also struggling with a mental illness, such as depression, anxiety, or an eating disorder, a therapist will work with you to assess the appropriate level of care.

The level of care a person participates in is predicated upon the individual’s unique circumstances; however, one should note that therapists must refer to higher levels of care when deemed necessary.

If your social media addiction has progressed to a point where it is affecting your sleep, appetite, work, personal life, and health, a treatment professional may suggest that you attend residential treatment. Residential treatment may also be recommended for those with a severe mental illness or who are abusing substances.

Some inpatient treatment centers have incorporated social media addiction treatment into their curriculum, and some have even developed dedicated programs for social media addiction. This level of care provides around-the-clock care and allows you to focus all of your attention on your treatment and recovery process. If you find that you cannot regulate your social media addiction after some time with therapy, you may need residential treatment.

No matter what level of care you need, a vital part of treatment for any addiction to social media is aftercare planning. Aftercare can include seeing a therapist or counselor individually once you have completed an inpatient or outpatient program. This is always an essential component in the prevention of relapse of addictive behaviors, as having an aftercare plan can help you prepare for the stresses and factors that may trigger your addiction.

Aftercare plans can also help to instill long-term success by helping to significantly, or permanently, diminish the symptoms (i.e., anxiety, depression, low self-esteem) associated with addictive behaviors.

How Will I Pay For Treatment?

Whenever someone thinks about seeking treatment for any disorder, not just social media addiction, a common first thought is, how much will treatment cost? The cost of treatment depends on which method you choose and your insurance coverage.

The DSM-5 does not explicitly recognize social media addiction as a diagnosable condition; however, it does recognize impulse control disorder, under which internet addiction is often filed. Some insurance companies will cover this treatment, which is why it’s always important to check with your insurance provider. Self-pay is almost always an option should your insurance not cover the cost.

Social media addiction can also go hand in hand with other disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder. Dual diagnosis treatment facilities treat people with co-occurring disorders like depression and alcohol use disorder or, in this case, depression and social media addiction. The treatment facility will often coordinate with insurance companies to maximize your insurance benefits and advocate to get most, or all, of your treatment needs covered.

Since addiction to social media is still gaining recognition, it is likely that as the social media industry grows, so will the need for more treatment centers to offer programs that address this type of addiction. As this demand continues to grow, so too will the demand for insurance companies to cover treatment for social media addiction. In that case, we will likely see an increase in treatment facilities incorporating social media addiction treatment into their programs.

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Get Help For Social Media Addiction

If you or a loved one is struggling with an addiction to social media, don’t let the stigma of addiction hold you back from getting the help you need. Since social media addiction is yet to be officially recognized as a diagnosable condition, many people may feel that their addiction isn’t “real,” or that they don’t have a condition that is “worthy” of treatment. These false notions can not only harm the mental health of those with an addiction to social media, but it can keep them from getting the help they deserve.

To start your path toward a life free of social media addiction, get connected with a licensed therapist today.

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Amber Biello-Taylor

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  • Amber Biello-Taylor is a Certified Addiction Professional (CAP) with over 10 years of professional addiction treatment experience.

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