Monday, May 27, 2024

How To Help Someone With Video Game Addiction

Tips To Manage Your Childs Gaming

How Can We Support Someone with a Gaming Addiction?

While most gamers will not be diagnosed with gaming disorder, a childs gaming habits can cause significant distress for parents. They may be concerned their child is spending too much time on video games, that they resist every time they are asked to get off, or that gaming is leading to an unhealthy or unbalanced lifestyle.

Here are some tips for supporting more healthy approaches to gaming for children include:

  • encourage sport and physical activity. This can increase blood levels of serotonin and have a positive effect on mood and symptoms of problematic gaming

  • talk to your child about what they enjoy about gaming and why they want to game regularly. Their answer will help you identify if there are others issues they may be experiencing and using gaming as an escape

  • when you call your child off their game, ensure they have an activity to shift to, such as a family outing or dinner. This will create a reason to get off

  • when calling your child off a game, give them time to finish the game. Continuously being asked to get off mid-game can be frustrating and lead to arguments. Ask them how much longer they will need to finish the game and then ensure they get off when the game is over.

Read more:Curious Kids: Why do adults think video games are bad?

With video games such a significant aspect of young peoples lives, its important to guide healthy, balanced approaches as young as possible.

It Most Certainly Is If Youre The Person Or Family Member Coping With Excessive Use

When use becomes chronic and excessive it causes problems for both the user and those around them. What was once an activity full of excitement, challenge and reward, often leads to reduced functioning and conflict when use gets out of control. Excessive video gaming often supersedes other important activities, hobbies, and relational pursuits in life. Thus parents, friends and loved ones are often the first to see warning signs in those who use excessively.

What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Gaming Disorder

These signs and symptoms can be classified into two groups physical and behavioral signs. The physical signs are things that one can look out for in the appearance of a person that may indicate video game addiction, while the behavioral signs are related to changes in behavior.

Some Possible Physical Signs are:

  • Bad posture
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight gain or
  • Swollen eyes
  • More frequent seizures

Behavioral signs may be a bit harder to pick one if one is not looking out for them. At the same time, even when they do exist, they are not always an indication of video gaming addiction. Whilst many parents would like to think their kids are addicted to video games, not everyone who plays a lot of video games is actually addicted to them.

Furthermore, not only teenagers are active players of video games. A big chunk of the percentage includes adults who are over 30 years old. Addiction can be diagnosed after some characteristics become apparent.

Some Behavioral Traits to Look Out For When Trying to Figure Out if a Person is Addicted to Video Games Include:

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How Are Video Game Addiction And Substance Use Disorders Treated

Video game addiction is best treated using behavioral therapies combined with mutual support groups. Family therapy may also be recommended for children and teens suffering from video game addiction to help repair and strengthen family dynamics. Therapies for video game addiction focus on helping you experience a full social and emotional recovery since many cases of video game addiction stem from poor social skills, low self-esteem, and mental health disorders like depression.

Behavioral therapies can help you overcome negative emotions that may be driving your video game addiction, and reduce your boredom by helping you discover new, fun, healthy activities. These therapies also teach you how to manage and cope with stress more effectively and identify triggers that influence you to use video games as an escape.

Therapies for video game addiction:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Family therapy
  • 12-step support group therapy

Therapies for video game addiction can take place in either an inpatient or outpatient rehab setting, though inpatient treatment is recommended to help you establish a new daily routine minus unhealthy gaming habits. Inpatient rehab can help you recover away from access to video games and negative influences in your life who may be contributing to your addiction.

If you or other members in your household play video games, here are steps you can take to lower the risk for video game addiction:

Physically Suffering Because Of Gaming

Signs Your Child Has a Video Game Addiction

When gamers find it hard to quit, or even put the game down for a second, it can cause their health to suffer. This could include things like lack of sleep, not eating proper meals, or even poor hygiene.

It can cause a person’s health to degrade as they develop more serious illnesses due to their bodies not functioning properly. The best way to handle this is to make sure that gamers are taking care of themselves first and playing games second so they can be healthy, while still finding happiness.

Read Also: How To Convince An Addict To Go To Rehab

Coping With Threats Of Self

All threats of harm should be taken seriously. A user may make threats to engage in self-harm when discussions involving limits or needing help are on the table. Do not take these lightly. Be direct and ask if they have a plan to harm themselves or others. If you suspect a person may intentional harm themselves, contact your local crisis line or your local police officer who may be able to conduct a safety check. By you taking action, a gamer may realize that idle threats are not the way to get you to leave them alone. Idle threats will often cease if the real intent is to keep you at a distance so they can keep video gaming.

  • Seizures

Video Game Addiction Versus Gaming Disorder Additional Facts

Parents should be aware of the current medical consensus on video game addiction. While the World Health Organization recognizes gaming disorder as a condition, the American Psychiatric Association maintains that insufficient evidence is available to classify this condition as a unique disorder.

Addiction to gaming is described in the American Psychiatric Associations Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , which is used by mental health professionals to diagnose mental disorders. There was not sufficient evidence to determine whether the condition is a unique mental disorder or the best criteria to classify it at the time the DSM-5 was published in 2013. However, it recognized internet gaming disorder in the section recommending conditions for further research, along with caffeine use disorder and other conditions.

American Psychiatric Association

Unlike other addictions, an over-reliance on gaming can go away on its own without treatment. Gamers tend to experience short bursts of obsessive interest that fade away and addiction affects less than 1 percent of the population. For this small percentage, however, video game addiction poses a serious problem.

Parents and families struggling with teens who they believe are addicted to video games should start by taking these five measures. If these methods do not help,make an appointment with a therapist. Quick and decisive intervention is necessary to address the underlying conditions that cause addiction.

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How Video Game Addiction Is Treated

The treatment plans typically used for video game addicts will vary according to the person being treated. However, there are some steps habitually used by therapists who are focused on working with this type of addiction:

  • The behavior is stopped. This is called going cold turkey in some circles, and it can cause significant withdrawal symptoms. When accompanied by therapy, the withdrawal can be controlled.
  • A plan of action is created. This plan includes a listing of the triggers associated with video game addiction. For instance, an addict may find they play video games when they are stressed out. Thus, the next time the person is under serious anxiety, they can recognize this as a trigger and do something different and healthier, such as going for a walk, calling a friend or journaling.
  • Daily schedules and routines are developed. Having a daily routine can be an asset to video game addicts because their days are mapped out. When they are just beginning treatment, this can be a powerful ally in keeping them focused on getting better and not turning to gaming.
  • Ongoing therapy sessions are scheduled. Therapy is essential to overcoming addictions, including video game addictions. Therapy sessions will help restore self-confidence and allow the addict to move past whatever was holding them back.
  • Group sessions may be prescribed. These sessions are similar to AA meetings, where each member of the group expresses support for the others dealing with an addiction.
  • How Can I Talk To My Partner About Video Game Addiction

    How to Overcome Video Game Addiction

    Lets get back to the situation we discussed at the beginning: Your partner seems to be spending more and more of their time playing online video games. And they’re doing it to a point where they no longer seem very invested in your relationship.

    Youre not an addiction expert, but you are an expert in what you need in a relationship. At some point, youll need to sit your partner down and talk about the problem. Pick a time when youre both well-rested and not in a hurry.

    Youre not an addiction expert, but you are an expert in what you need in a relationship.

    Listen, you might say, I think you and I are at a crossroads here. I want to be with you, but youre spending so much of your time and energy on gaming that it doesnt feel like we’re in a real relationship anymore. Im hoping we can get our relationship back.

    Maybe theyve been worried about their video game habit, too. If so, thats a good sign. Ask if they have any ideas about what to do, to get themselves back in the real world with you.

    You might want to look together at the APA criteria for the newly proposed Internet Gaming Disorder condition.

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    What Is Addiction Anyway

    There is still a major divide between the public understanding of addiction and the expert view. Its common to hear people casually call an activity addictive just because its fun. Some people continue to see addiction not as a medical condition but as a moral failure, contrary to what major public health and medical organizations have said for decades now. There are still misconceptions that addiction requires some sort of physical component for example, physical dependence that causes withdrawal or that physical dependence is conclusive proof of addiction.

    Experts, however, have long moved away from these old views of addiction, if they ever held such beliefs at all. Under the expert view, addiction doesnt even require a physical dependence component.

    We long ago moved away from thinking about addiction as a physical or physiological need for a drug, Robert West, editor in chief for the scientific journal Addiction, told me. In most cases, its not the physiological thats causing the problem, because you can quite easily get people over that through, say, supervised detoxification. Its a behavioral problem. Where the problem lies is that certain drugs and behaviors in certain people lead to such powerful motivation to engage in the behavior that its damaging or could be damaging.

    Emotional Symptoms Of Video Game Addiction

    Some of the emotional signs or symptoms of video game addiction include:

    • Feelings of restlessness and/or irritability when unable to play
    • Preoccupation with thoughts of previous online activity or anticipation of the next online session
    • Lying to friends or family members regarding the amount of time spent playing
    • Isolation from others in order to spend more time gaming

    Read Also: How To Deal With An Addict Child

    Minute Read By Warren Wong

    Video game addiction has been silently creeping up on us in the past few decades. While drug, alcohol, and pornography have had the spotlight in the media, video game addiction is often times more relevant and just as dangerous.

    My own experience with video game addiction began back in 2005, in middle school.

    As a 11 years old with not many friends and time on my hands, I turned to video games. Lots and lots of video games.

    My poison of choice: the PC, short for personal computer.

    How To Beat Video Game Addiction

    How do I help a friend with video game addiction?  THE ...

    Published by Dutch on 28 December 2017

    Video game addiction has been a phenomenon that has seen a huge rise throughout the 21st century. And its easy to see why the enormous number of immersive titles released over the last fifteen to twenty years has made it increasingly difficult to just turn it off. Gaming is fun, but its important that you dont overdo it, as getting too addicted can seriously affect you both mentally and physically.

    Physically, the lack of exercise that is often a side effect of video game addiction can make you weak, tired and overweight. Exercise is super important for feeling fresh and full of beans, and so missing it out of your day can affect you mentally too. Additionally, the physical strain of battering a controller all day can cause problems with your muscles and in the nerves in your hands and wrists.

    But the physical effects are often only the tip of the iceberg. Mentally, addiction is an even bigger strain. A lack of productivity outside the gaming world can mean a loss of productive time and a decrease in your grades which makes you stressed. Family and friendship ties can become strained, making you feel isolated, and the money you spend on games can cause a financial burden.

    So how do you beat that addiction?

  • Make a list of your priorities for the day, and do the non-gaming ones first. Even just telling yourself five minutes can seem enticing, but youll soon get sucked in. Make sure youve allocated time for friends and family.
  • Recommended Reading: How To Stop Addictive Behavior

    What To Do After A Video Game Addiction Relapse

    Relapsing is a commonplace phenomenon in the area of treatment for video game addiction. A relapse can be considered part of recovery, however, and not an end to it. As soon as the relapse has occurred, its necessary for the video game addict to return to their treatment center or therapist. The faster a relapse is evaluated, the sooner the addict can continue toward complete recovery.

    If youre the parent of a child or teen who has undergone treatment for video game addiction, and you suspect a relapse has occurred, do not hesitate to take action. You may feel uncomfortable confronting your child with your suspicions, but its better to have an awkward conversation than to enable them to experience a full-blown video game addiction again.

    Lack Of Zeal In Meaningful Activities

    Most teenagers who are addicted to gaming have become less interested in other meaningful activities and hobbies that develops the mind and body.

    For example, engaging in creative activities, studying with friends, learning a skill, are all worthy pursuits of life. But excessive gaming can stop the teen from learning them.

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    When To Seek Help

    Excessive game play may lead to a variety of eventual outcomes. Some people play excessively on occasion, but live healthy lives otherwise. They exercise, show up for work, go out with friends, and spend time engaging in offline activities with people they care about. Others find themselves caught in an insatiable feedback loop of game play and reward. To this end, the ability to stop on their own is nearly impossible without formal help.

    Video Game Addiction How To Tell & How To Regain Control


    Video games did not need any help with their popularity. They got help anyway. The pandemic mitigation tactics left a lot of folks with a lot of indoor time on their hands. This goes for people of all ages. A recent survey found that 64 percent of U.S. adults are gamers. For those under 18, the number is 70 percent. Many of these men and women struggle with video game addiction.

    Heres another statistic: 85 percent of parents thought their kids spend too much time online. Such worry may be justified. The American Psychiatric Association has designated gaming disorder as a trend warranting further study. How can you tell if you fall into this category?

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    Popular Beliefs About Video Games

    There are many misguided beliefs and misconceptions about video games. In some schools of thought, these computerized programs are entirely negative, promoting violence, sexism, and social isolation among young people. Other perspectives hold that video games can be a valuable tool for education and character development, allowing children to simulate the roles of powerful heroes. In reality, video games have both positive and negative characteristics, and the effect of playing games often depends on the players attitudes toward games and life in general.

    Parenting Science proposes that the compelling quality of video games may not be due to an addictive response, but to a psychological phenomenon called flow. Flow takes place when individuals become so immersed in an activity that they lose track of time. Any engaging activity even work or school projects can induce a sense of flow once a person is caught up in the process. While there is nothing necessarily wrong with being immersed in an engaging, educational game, this process can turn into a compulsion if the user is unable to stop, and if it takes time away from other important activities or relationships.

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