Compulsive Internet Use (CIU) is the inability to stop surfing the internet, which results in adverse mental outcomes. It means that the time online can become overwhelmingly compelling, but instead of developing online connections, it instigates anxiety and depression.
Fibromyalgia patients must be careful to avoid this. There has been no study about the link between CIU and fibromyalgia, but the social isolation that often accompanies fibromyalgia is well-documented. Besides television and books, that isolation makes the internet a major source of communication and entertainment through scanning social media, online shopping, gossips sites, and even participating in forums for fibromyalgia patients. All of these things are a lot of fun plus helpful, so should not be stopped out of fear of developing CIU. What should be stopped is a reliance on the internet as the sole source of communication and entertainment. Fibromyalgia patients will seek out these things on the internet because the disease often leaves sufferers feeling low, unenergized, and unwilling to get up and make themselves presentable to the world.
But that’s exactly what they need to do. Withdrawing into an internet-dominated life is not going to help the pain or the lack of energy.
Spend some in-person time with family and friends this week. Meet up at a cafe for a relaxing tea and chat, or call them over for dinner. If no-one feels like cooking, order-in or have them pick-up some take out on the way over. Order a movie and spend the evening having fun.
Don’t let fibromyalgia lead to CIU, which is really just letting fibromyalgia determine that you can’t have fun with people offline.
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