Addiction does not mean only cigarettes or alcohol. If you smoke, you know that you are addicted. You might have noticed what it means when somebody is an alcoholic. But all addictions work in the same way and it appears you can be addicted to anything. Smoking, drinking or drugs are very addictive because they involve two factors: physiological addiction and psychological addiction. You know that you are addicted because you have some physiological symptoms. But what happens if you are addicted to computer games, shopping, gambling, coffee, chocolate? And are you ad­dicted, or not? The test below will help you to find out if you are addictive to computer, but if you feel you are in danger to being addicted to anything else, you can modify the questions to suit the topic.

  • 1. When you have a choice, do you usually choose computer?
  • 2. Do you think about computer (e.g. games) when you do something else?
  • 3. Do you spend most of your money on computer?
  • 4. Have you ever resigned from some activity/meeting etc. because you wanted to play?
  • 5. Has more than one person told you that you spend too much time in front of the computer?
  • 6. Does computer influence your life in a bad way (for example you have too little sleep, or you don’t do your homework etc. because of computer)?
  • 7. Have you ever made an as­sumption that you are not going to use computer because you had something else to do, but finally given in?
  • 8. Do you hide the fact that you use it so much (for example lie to your parents that you were doing something else)?
  • 9. Do you sit in front of computer always when you need consolation or prize (e.g. when you failed an exam as consolation and when you passed as a prize)?
  • 10. Have you ever felt bad about the fact that you wasted so much time in front of the computer?

If you answered YES more than two times, you are getting addicted, if it is more than four times, you are definitely addicted.

What to do?
If you addiction has only started, you can try to help yourself, by limiting the time you spend on the addictive activity and look for other activities. Try to look for something equally engaging. Do not think you will stop playing games, and spend more time studying. Studying is not engaging – and also when you study, your computer is not far enough. Start, for example, diving lessons. There must be things you have always wanted to do and you have not had time – try. Go somewhere where there are no computers and find things which are more exciting.

What about other addictions? If you are addicted to shopping (many people are!) and spend hours in shopping malls, on sales, spending all your pocket money on clothes and accessories, try to limit money and time. Try out something different. If you always go with your best friend, go to an exhibition instead. Or invite a few friends and make a big sale of clothes you don’t like. Earn the money and spend it – have some new things and no doubts. It is fun!

If you are addicted to some kind of food (chocolate, nuts, crisps), decide one day in the week “without”. It will be difficult, but it is only one day. After a month or two, when you find out you can do it, take two days “without”. Then, well, actually you can leave one day “with”.
When you fight with any addiction, the biggest success is not only that you stop eating chocolate. It is a great pleasure to feel that you are strong and have the power to fight. We don’t want addictions because we don’t want to be slaves. When you manage to stop, you are the winner. If you can’t do it yourself, seek professional help. There are organizations that help addicted people. Well, even if you are addicted to computer, you can search for them in the Internet. For the last time!

Improve your vocabulary!

equally – równie, równo
engage – angażować
fight – walczyć
slave – niewolnik
manage – radzić sobie z czymś, zdołać coś zrobić
winner – zwycięzca
seek – szukać