Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment
Many experts recommend cognitive behavioral therapy as the ideal treatment for video game addiction. The therapy allows the addict to shift their thoughts, replacing those that lead to compulsive gaming with healthier thinking patterns. As its name implies, cognitive behavioral therapy allows a person to modify their thoughts, feelings and ultimately behavior for the better.
Therapists consider addiction a belief or way of thinking that leads to irrational, often unhealthy behaviors. They start treatment by identifying and focusing on the thoughts that start the chain of addiction and help the addict begin their transition from there.
Cognitive behavioral therapy techniques include setting goals and then learning to overcome the thinking that sparks compulsive gaming.
Understanding Video Game Addiction
Over 2 billion people play video games worldwide, and the market for video games was estimated to be a $90 billion industry in America in 2020. The average gamer plays for about 6 hours every week. For most players of all ages, playing video games is a fun pastime: a way to relax, connect with friends, and enjoy a challenge. Unfortunately, for some players, a video game hobby can escalate into an addictive disorder which takes over their lives.
In recent years, the smartphone has surpassed the computer and the console as the most common gaming device. Video games are now available on apps and social media. Furthermore, massively multiplayer online role-playing games continue to be immensely popular. Every day, games like League of Legends, World of Warcraft, Fortnite, Final Fantasy, and;The Elder Scrolls Online draw millions of players into their virtual worlds. About 160 million Americans play MMORPGs and other internet-based games every day.
Like all good things, videos games are best in moderation. Adults and children alike can develop unhealthy, obsessive relationships with video games that they love.
Featured Center Offering Video Game Addiction Treatment
What Causes Gaming Addiction
Video games are designed to be addictive using state-of-the-art behavioral psychology to keep you hooked. Games are immersive experiences that provide you with a high amount of dopamine, and overexposure to this level of stimulation can cause structural changes to your brain 11.The association between online gaming, social phobia, and depression: an internet survey×.
You begin to live in a world where you expect instant gratification. Games are so immersive that its easy to play for hours and hours without even noticing that a minute has gone by. They allow you to escape and see measurable progress. They are social and create an environment where you feel safe and in control.
Game developers also deploy manipulative game design features such as in-app purchases, microtransactions, and loot boxes that some governments have declared illegal because they are a form of gambling. Gaming addiction exists because game companies are billion-dollar industries and the more people they have hooked on games, the more money they make.
Don’t Miss: Can You Get Addicted To Nicotine
How To Get Your Child To Stop Playing Video Games
One of the biggest obstacles that parents run into when trying to get their child to stop playing video games is when they say, âNo gaming for a week. Read this book insteadâ or something along those lines.
Nobody in that relationship understands that the child cannot enjoy and engage with that book â they just donât have the capacity to do that, not in the way that we do.
As a parent, you have to understand that when you give your child a small alternative to gaming, they will not be able to enjoy it. You have to pull them away from video games in a significant manner to get them to have a healthy dopamine-functioning brain.
The good news is that you donât need to shut down their gaming habit completely. It is enough to engage your child in a way that they find enjoyable.
For example, some people go whitewater rafting for a vacation. Whitewater rafting is a high adrenaline activity and that is why gamers tend to love it. It gives their brain a similar dopamine response as gaming. It is engaging, healthy, and something you can do as a family.
To break a childâs video game addiction, you need to give them a hard but engaging task. That is due to how video games affect the triumph circuit in our minds. Triumph requires adversity, so your child will be the most responsive to activities that are challenging, yet fun.
Dr. Kanojia talks about the problems parents face when trying to regulate their childâs gaming habit:
World Of Warcraft Addiction
This content is accurate and true to the best of the authorâs knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
You May Like: How To Stop Junk Food Addiction
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.
How Is Video Game Addiction Treated
Cognitive BehavioralTherapy can reduce problematic behaviors such as compulsive video game use by helping people to identify the template with which they view the world and to develop healthy ways to cope and adapt. Various forms of therapy and medications can treat the mental health challenges that often accompany addictive behaviors, such as depression and anxiety. Inpatient treatment centers and group therapy programs may also be valuable in certain cases.
Don’t Miss: Why Am I Addicted To Alcohol
How Can I Get Help For A Video Game Addiction
If you know its time to overcome video game addiction or help someone whos struggling with it, there are many resources available to help you get started. There are programs all over the country as well as in-person and online support groups which are dedicated to helping people break free from addiction to video games.
The first step to ending video game addiction is to put the controller down and step away. This can be difficult, which is why many video game addicts made a successful recovery only when they discard their gaming equipment or go away on a wilderness retreat. A severe problem with video games might require drastic solutions. If you have questions about treatment for video game addiction, please contact a dedicated treatment provider today. A video game should not be the center of anyones life, but if it is, there is hope for getting unshackled from the screen.
Destiny Bezrutczyk is a Digital Content Writer from west Iowa. She earned a Bachelors in English Language and Literature from Texas Tech University. After working as a freelance script and blog writer, she began writing content for tech startups. Maintaining a passion for words, she took on a variety of projects where her writing could help people .
All of the information on this page has been reviewed and verified by a certified addiction professional.
Controversy And Alternative Viewpoints
Common challenges involve the reliability of the methodology and validity of the results in some studies. Many rely on self-surveys from university students and also lack time frames making it difficult to study the impact, if any, of addiction on a long term scale. Other concerns also address the definition of addiction and how to measure it, questioning whether or not time is a proper unit to determine how addicted someone is to gaming. Daria Joanna Kuss and Mark D. Griffiths have argued the current scientific knowledge on internet gaming addiction is copious in scope and complexity. They state that instead, a simple framework should be provided to allow all current and future studies to be categorised, as internet gaming addiction lies on a continuum beginning with etiology and risk factors all the way through the development of “full-blown” addiction and ending with ramifications and potential treatment. In addition, they caution the deployment of the label “addiction” since it heavily denotes the use of substances or engagement in certain behaviors. Finally, the researcher promotes other researchers to assess the validity and reliability of existing measures instead of developing additional measurement instruments.
The evidence of video game addiction to create withdrawal symptoms is very limited and thus debated, due to different definitions and low quality trials.
|ISBN;9788779493490. You can help by adding to it.|
Read Also: How To Convince An Addict To Go To Rehab
How To Quit Playing Video Games
A proven step-by-step guide to quit gaming and get your life back on track
“Respawn provides a detailed plan for a better life. -Pierce
Game Quitters is featured in…
Want to quit gaming, but dont know how?
Sick of feeling like youre wasting your potential?
Ready to break out of this vicious cycle?
Then youre in the right place.
Is It A True Addiction
Like other behavioral addictions, video game addiction is a controversial idea. While video gaming research is showing some disturbing effects, particularly in younger players, there is a lack of long-term research and insufficient evidence to definitively conclude that video game overuse is indeed an addiction.
In addition, cautionary messages from groups, such as the American Medical Association, which believes that video games are potentially harmful, have to compete with the aggressive marketing of the video games industry, whose own research, unsurprisingly, shows no ill effects.
Internet Gaming Disorder is currently included as a condition for further study in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders , the “gold standard” reference for mental health conditions. Therefore, although it is not yet recognized fully as a disorder, proposed criteria have been published.
You May Like: How To Quit Beer Addiction
Limiting The Time To Just An Hour Or Less Per Day
It is important to make sure that the video games are not consuming too much of a persons time. The games are tempting with the new 3D models and lifelike animations. You should place a limit on the time your child is spending while playing video games. Try to indulge them in other activities. Encourage them to involve in physical activities. Let the game time be just an hour and make sure that you take a break so you can keep up the time limitation.
How Gaming Affects The Brain
As with any behavioural addiction, gaming addiction is a disorder of the brains reward system. High levels of an addictive stimulus in this case, video gaming experienced over time initiate the production of increasingly large quantities of dopamine in the brain, which stimulates receptors which in turn drive the impulse to repeat the behaviour in question.
Up to a point, the more frequently this is repeated, the more easily dopamine production is stimulated; after a while, however, the brain develops a tolerance to high levels of dopamine, and thus the individual in question feels compulsion to engage in the addictive behaviour in other words, to play video games more and more often in order to feel the same level of satisfaction and pleasure which was initially experienced.
Moreover, once this tolerance has developed, stopping the addictive behaviour will result in unpleasant sensations driving cravings until enough time has passed that the brain chemistry has normalised and the addiction has been quashed though cravings to resume the addictive behaviour may recur for months or even years after the last instance of engaging in it.
Read Also: How Does Rehab Help Drug Addicts
Limit The Smartphone Use
Digital Detox is something you can do on your own if you have the determination and strength to do it. Once you realise that internet addiction is bad for you and it taking control over your life, you can start keeping the distance. You can limit your online session to 30 minutes. You can make some rules about not using the internet after a certain time every day. This will keep you all managed and self-controlled.
Risk Factors For Video Game Addiction
Why do some people become video game addicts, while others seem to have no problem turning away from the game? The answer might lie in risk factors such as the following:
- The video game addict has been sexually or emotionally abused and is trying to escape from the situation.
- The video game addict has been bullied by their peer group and is seeking acceptance in an alternative community.
- The video game addict is socially awkward and does not feel comfortable interacting with people in a real environment.
- The video game addicts parents or siblings are also addicted to playing video games, making it a family pastime.
- The video game addict seeks out gaming as a way to show their aggression toward the world, or deal with anger.
- The video game addict has little control in their own life, so they turn to gaming to feel confident.
- The video game addict has lowered self-esteem and constantly uses video games to elevate feelings of self-worth.
- The video game addict is left alone for long periods of time and turns to gaming especially multi-player gaming as a source of community and comfort.
- The video game addict suffers from untreated depression and uses video games to get a high to combat their moods.
- The video game addict is spontaneous and rash by nature and is unable to control their impulsivity.
- The video game addict has a history of addiction .
Also Check: How To Beat Marijuana Addiction
So Video Game Addiction Comes With Very Real Life Consequences
As we can see, playing too many hours of video games isnt just a harmless bad habit.
Overplaying has a seriously negative effect on your relationships and work/life balance.
Here are some other long-lasting quality of life problems you may experience when you play too many video games:
Of course, these are just some of the symptoms of playing too many video games. So keep in mind that not everyones addiction manifests in exactly the same way.
Note: Read more about How Violence in Video Games is Affecting Your Mental Health in our bonus material;here.
How Gaming Disorder Should Be Treated
An important impact of the classification of gaming disorder as an addiction is it lays the path for treatment by health professionals.
But like the classification of the disorder, research-based treatment plans are also in their infancy.
A survey of psychiatrists in Australia and New Zealand found only 16.3% felt confident managing the disorder.
Don’t Miss: Why Is Cigarettes So Addictive
But Heres What You Dont Want To Do
Dont internalize the problem by constantly telling yourself, Im a video game addict and beating yourself up about the ways youve behaved in the past.
Doing this just makes you feel more down .
And taking on addict as a self identity label gives you an out every time the going gets tough
What Causes Video Game Addiction
Studies show that most people who are struggling with the symptoms of video game addiction are playing multiplayer games on the internet. MMPORGs are especially addictive because they offer an endless adventure inside a fantasy world where players can essentially live a different life as a new person. They provide an opportunity to escape reality and leave behind problems of the real world.
Furthermore, MMPORGs and other multiplayer games host large communities of players where many people feel welcome, appreciated, and useful . An MMPORG player can join clans, help others players, make friends, and develop a status. Although the setting is virtual, the relationships are real. For the player, the sense of being part of something and having a role to play can be important and meaningful. This is especially true if the player does not experience social gratification in real life. For many people with a video game addiction, playing the game is not just a hobby. It is their social life and a pillar of their self-esteem. Video games which exist on social media closely coincide with social media addiction, another behavioral disorder which thrives on the feeling of being accepted.
Top 10 Rehab Questions
Read Also: What Is The Most Addictive Illegal Drug
Take Control Of Your Life Get Started On The Road To Recovery
Anyone who has laboured with addiction knows the damage it can do to ones self-esteem and sense of self-control. Draw a line under that damage today and begin the process of healing, and taking back control of your own life; do not let gaming addiction determine the course of your future, regardless of the impact it has had on your past. Help is out there: reach out for it today.
What Are The Actual Effects Of Video Gaming On The Brain
The research that Kardaris referred to demonstrates that certain pathways in the forebrain, where dopamine is the neurotransmitter, become active when people are playing video games, and drugs like heroin activate some of these same pathways. What Kardariss and similar articles leave out, however, is the fact that everything that is pleasurable activates these pathways. These are the brains pleasure pathways. If video gaming didnt increase activity in these dopaminergic pathways, we would have to conclude that video gaming is no fun. The only way to avoid producing this kind of effect on the brain would be to avoid everything that is pleasurable.
As gaming researchers Patrick Markey and Christopher Ferguson point out in a recent book, video gaming raises dopamine levels in the brain to about the same degree that eating a slice of pepperoni pizza or dish of ice cream does . That is, it raises dopamine to roughly double its normal resting level, whereas drugs like heroin, cocaine, or amphetamine raise dopamine by roughly 10 times that much.
You May Like: Why Do People Become Addicted