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DM has a computer addiction

(8 Posts)
ChocolateBiscuitCake Sun 16-Feb-14 19:13:03

My mother has a computer addiction (she is 65). She has just left after staying for the weekend and she needs urgent help.

Talked to my Dad this weekend - we are both really worried about her. She spends hours and hours on the computer, 7 days a week, playing bloody candy crush amongst other games. Dad says they go to bed at 11pm and she heads off back to the computer for another hour of playing. She doesn't see her friends, she no longer goes out. Has no interests. A once/twice weekly supermarket shop has been replaced by Ocado…ALL day she sits in her "office" having a relaptionhip with a screen. Dad says he has started doing all the laundry as she is withdrawn and doesn't do it.

She ignored her three grandchildren this weekend (who she hasn't seen since Christmas) and just sat here this weekend, got her laptop out for two hours and started surfing…

It was a glorious day today, we went for a walk and she opted to stay behind. When we returned she was…on the computer.

So as to not drip feed - she was an alcoholic (been dry for 20 years) but smokes 40-60 a day and won't entertain the idea of giving up (happily puffs away at breakfast in front of grandchildren - not in my house, but in her own). She has an addictive personality.

Any one experienced this? How do we help? She must be miserable (depressed?) and my Dad is miserable. What are the best positive steps forward?

ChocolateTeacup Sun 16-Feb-14 19:19:12

Is this a new thing?

StickEmUpBigStyle Sun 16-Feb-14 19:21:30

If I were you I talk to her and maybe see if you'll see a doctor. I am an addict too, and can be very easy to get addicted to other things.
Best of luck to all of you.

ChocolateBiscuitCake Sun 16-Feb-14 19:25:59

Not really, but last summer my sister and I sat down with her and addressed her neglect of friendships and not showing an interest in anything. She seemed to make a really positive step forward and over Christmas whilst she was still glued to an iPad, she still managed to join in with family activities.

She has been away and this weekend was the first time I have seen her. She has lost her mojo and my Dad confirmed that she doesn't leave the house any more etc.

She has NO interests, no hobbies, they have stopped having people over.

So the computer addiction is not new but it has got worse. She can't really hold a decent conversation.

ChocolateBiscuitCake Sun 16-Feb-14 19:26:36

Could computer addiction and depression go hand in hand?

CynicalandSmug Sun 16-Feb-14 19:33:55

Yes, definitely. Just one example of basic material out there,

www.helpguide.org/mental/internet_cybersex_addiction.htm

LillyAlien Sun 16-Feb-14 21:05:25

If she gave up alcohol she will be able to resolve this too.
You should try and figure out as a family what you can do to make her see the problem and help her (hint: not everything) and try to educate yourselves about addiction in general and this kind of thing specifically.

Please don't be angry with her for not interacting with your DCs. I am sure that when she manages to engage with life again, she will be just as sad as you about the time with them that she has missed.

angry at people like the makers of Candy Crush Saga. In my opinion no different from drug dealers and bookmakers in the ways they target the bored, lonely and vulnerable.

ChocolateBiscuitCake Mon 17-Feb-14 13:54:14

Thanks for the responses.

I sent my Dad some info about computer addiction (including NHS) and I think the reality has hit home for him that there is a serious problem.

I need to support him in this too - it is their 40th wedding anniversary this Easter and realising the truth is hitting him hard.

What professional help should we also be seeking? CBT? Haven't heard of anything else...

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