Seeking Help And Treatment
Video games have had a tremendous impact both positive and negative on the cultural attitudes, psychological development, and lifestyle choices of both children and adults. While these games can be viewed as a risk to players physical or emotional health, they have also been promoted as effective educational tools and have even been used for physical or cognitive rehabilitation in clinical settings. Yet for individuals who have become caught in a cycle of compulsive gaming, video games can become destructive.The growing popularity of video games has created a new awareness of the problem of compulsive gaming, which in turn has led to the development of treatment programs for this addictive process. Treatment for video game addiction focuses on behavioral modification therapies, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy , that guide the client away from the obsessive thought patterns and obsessive habits of addiction. Group therapy is a valuable source of motivation and moral support, especially for individuals who have lost contact with friends or peers as a result of their game addiction. Family or marriage counseling can help educate loved ones about the disorder and create a more stable home environment.
Is My Child Addicted To Video Games
A gaming addiction involves a lack of control despite adverse consequencesif your child can pull themselves away from a game to join the family for dinner, for example, and shows interest in other activities, like sports or socializing, the child doesnt have an addiction. Kids may be drawn to video games because they satisfy psychological needs such as competence, autonomy, and connection, which are sometimes difficult to find in other places.
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.
Also Check: Is Binge Drinking An Addiction
Howto Prevent Addiction To Video Games
To prevent isdifferent from seeking a solution. You seek a solution to a problem that is areality already. But to prevent means to take proactive steps to ensure that the problemdoes not occur at all.
There arepreventive measures to video game addiction. Actually, it is a two-stepprocessDEFINITION AND SUPERVISION
When God gives youchildren, as long as they are babies, He confers the power of decision to youas parents. But when that child grows into an adult, you no longer have thatpower. This is why the best time to exercise authority over them is as long asthey are children. What you do with them as children today will determine whatthey will become as adults tomorrow. We already know that a childs basiccharacter is moulded by the age of seven.
The best everyParents can do for their children in the childhood stage of life is to definepriorities based on values and virtues for them. Priorities such as praying,going to church, studying Gods word, education, respect, honesty and pursuingone’s dreams are primary. Let games and cartoons be secondary. This will helpprevent addiction to video games.
Many parents have a great outline of virtue-driven and value-driven priorities for their children, yetnothing significant is changing and they wonder why. Well, plans alone cant dothe magic if not monitored. Even adults are mischievous concerning instructions, talk more of children. Theyhave to be seriously watched over and observed closely.
Are There Positive Effects Of Playing Video Games
Its important to address the positive effects of playing video games because there tends to be a lot of skewed opinions floating around. Some people argue that all video gameplay is negative while others shout an ongoing list of benefits from the hilltops. If we want to get to the bottom of this question, we need to turn to science, which is exactly what Daphne Bavelier and her team did.
In Baveliers TED Talk, she addresses some of the myths surrounding video gameplay. She also discusses what was actually discovered during a scientific study.
The first thing she mentions involves eyesight. Many parents and teachers fear that the constant glare of the screen must be detrimental to a persons ability to see. Baveliers team found that video gamers have, on average, better eyesight than people who dont play video games.
More specifically, they found that playing video games can train the brain to pick up more visual details. This can be very beneficial, for example, for drivers on a busy road.
Bavelier also discusses the idea that people who play video games have a hard time focusing on non-gaming activities. Ultimately, she found that video games do not create attention problems. In fact, they can actually enhance a persons ability to multitask.
You May Like: How To Not Be Addicted To Video Games
How Do Video Games Affect The Brain
Dopamine pathways become active when people play video games, although those same pathways are activated by most pleasurable activities. Research suggests that video gaming may raise dopamine to about double its resting level, whereas drugs like heroin, cocaine, and amphetamine raise dopamine by roughly 10 times that much.
Video games activate the brain regions involved in the task at hand. Research suggests, for example, that games involving visual acuity and attention activate parts of the brain that underlie visual acuity and attention. Games involving spatial memory activate parts of the brain involved in spatial memory. Gaming not only activates many brain areas, but it may also lead to growth in some of those areas over time.
Addiction Or Underlying Mental Health Problem
In the debate around video game addiction, you often hear the objection that gaming is better understood as a coping mechanism for underlying mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder , and not a disorder in its own right. Is this true?
No. It is widely established in the addiction field that comorbidity the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or conditions in a patient is common, and gaming disorder is no exception 45.Behavioural addiction and substance addiction should be defined by their similarities not their dissimilarities×, comparable to the behavior of substance-related disorders, and for others gaming excessively will be a function of impairment.
Whether problematic gaming came first, or as a result of underlying mental health problems, therapeutic goals should include treatment of the gaming disorder itself because this disorder can be the underlying agent of functional impairment, and its treatment might be a prerequisite for effective treatment of comorbid conditions 6,.
Don’t Miss: Addiction Treatment Services In Traverse City
How Parents Can Help Their Kids Avoid Video Game Addiction
Because video game addiction so often happens in childhood, its important for parents to recognize they play a huge role in stopping video game addiction in children. Moms and dads should be ready to address this subject, and they can take several proactive steps to help their kids avoid becoming video game addicts.
If youre a parent of a child who enjoys playing video games, or who hasnt yet started playing video games, the following suggestions may prevent a future issue:
Teen Video Game Addiction
The World Health Organization recently addressed this growing fear, classifying the addiction as a gaming disorder. Studies conducted in 2017 found that while billions of people engage in video gameplay, very few of them have a full-blown addiction to it. In fact, of the population who participated in this study, less than 3% fit the category of video game addict.So what, exactly, is a video game addiction? What are the real effects of playing video games? Should we still be concerned about kids who get a lot of screentime, even if they dont have a gaming disorder?Read on to find out more and how you can help your kids and students who are constantly glued to their gaming consoles.
Recommended Reading: Steps Of Recovery From Drug Addiction
What Are The Warning Signs
The American Psychiatric Association has identified nine warning signs to watch for when it comes to recognising gaming disorder. Although these can be helpful to better understand the severity of your own situation, its important to always seek the advice of a professional.
How To Talk About The Issue
Be honest and direct with someone who is on the fence about their video game play. Do not minimize, cover up, dismiss, ignore, or be in denial yourself. People who have grown dependent on video games often endure more suffering the longer it takes to get support. Those who care about an excessive user may feel unsure about whether use has reached problematic levels. Trust your gut. Educate yourself. Video game addiction can take a serious physical and emotional toll in all those surrounding the user, not just the video game player themselves.
Read Also: What To Do When An Addict Relapses
How Can Gaming Become An Addiction
An addiction is defined as a person’s inability to control use of a substance or behavior, despite negative consequences. Some people who are engrossed in screen time or video games while ignoring other normal activities could be close to meeting this definition.
So why does this happen? The reward center in the brain releases dopamine in response to a pleasurable experience or hyperarousal. If a person experiences hyperarousal while playing video games, the brain associates the activity with dopamine. The person develops a strong drive to seek out that same pleasure again and again.
Dopamine is a powerful neurotransmitter in the brain. It helps sustain people’s interest and attention, which is why it can hard for people to tear themselves away from a situation or behavior. It’s also self-reinforcing. The more times people experience the behavior, the more dopamine is released, and the more driven they are to return to the behavior.
Effective Video Game Addiction Treatments
There are some concrete steps you can take to control your gaming habit:
Learn about Competing Interests
The first thing to understand is that you canât overcome addiction without a competing interest.
For most people with video game addiction, gaming serves an essential purpose in their life. It helps them manage stress, decompress, and cope with their negative emotions.
A competing interest is something that you care about and want to do, that is not related to gaming. Even though wanting to get a job, move out of your parentâs house, and move forward in life are admirable goals, they are not competing interests.
While they are things that you want, they donât drive you to change your behavior â they are just desires. Desires and motivators are very different things.
A competing interest puts a cost on your gaming. Every minute you spend gaming is a minute not spent working on your competing interest. Itâs hard to stop gaming because you do not lose anything you care about by playing video games. A competing interest solves this problem and is probably the most effective video game addiction treatment.
The simplest way to find a competing interest is to perform the following activity:
- Take a pen and a piece of paper and sit down.
- Write 500 words about a time when you felt fulfilled.
Donât fall into the trap that most gamers fall into, thinking, âI donât need to do this exercise. I can just think it through in my head.â You canât do that.
Also Check: How Many People Are Addicted To Drugs
Outpatient Video Game Rehab And Treatment Programs
Outpatient video game rehabilitation programs share many of the traits of inpatient programs, minus the overnight accommodations. Outpatient programs offer significantly more freedom for the patient, who, at the end of each session, is allowed to return home. Such a structure permits patients to maintain commitments to work, school, friends and family. Another benefit of an outpatient program is that the patient can enjoy a support network without needing to reveal to coworkers or fellow students that they are undergoing treatment for an addiction.
Effectsof Addiction To Video Games
A reputable study hasshown that a childs basic character is formed at the age of seven. This meansthat the side effects of a childs addiction to video games will begin to speakfrom age 7 to adulthood. The negative consequences are enormous if this is thecase.
Some of the majorside effects of video game addiction are
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Gaming Addiction
Are Long Gaming Sessions An Indicator Of Addiction
Not necessarily. Video games are designed to challenge and stimulate players and tens of millions of Americans regularly enjoy the escape that they offer. Addiction involves sustained patterns of play that interfere with daily life and, therefore, occasional long gaming sessions don’t act as definitive proof of a behavioral issue.
Residential Inpatient Gaming Addiction Treatment Centers
Inpatient treatment for addicted gamers is best for those who need to leave their environment altogether for a time in order to heal. Such treatment centers offer group therapy, individual counseling and a game-free atmosphere.
Some inpatient facilities offer private rooms, while some offer dorm-like accommodations. All these programs are designed to make the patient feel safe, comfortable and supported as they embark on a healing journey.
Once an addict has allowed their life opportunities to diminish by withdrawing entirely into the addiction, they have few options for overcoming the dependency on their own. This is where inpatient treatment facilities are a tremendous help. They help patients relearn healthy coping skills in a contained environment.
For help in selecting a treatment center, call . We are available 24/7 to help you find the facility you need.
Recommended Reading: How To Break Your Addiction To Food
Video Game Addiction In Children
Unfortunately, the age at which children are being introduced to technology is getting lower and lower. Children are always more vulnerable. Therefore, kids addicted to video games can face severe physical, psychological and social consequences of gaming addiction, which can be hard for both the child and the parent.
Keeping a close eye on your childs gaming activities is extremely important to prevent them from developing internet gaming addiction.
What Is Video Game Addiction
Video game addiction may sound like a joking matter, but it can have the same negative effects on your family, work and relationships as any other kind of addiction. Fortunately, there are solutions to video game addictions if you decide to take your life back.
However, for these solutions to take effect you must take full ownership of the problem and understand that only you can end your addiction to video games.
You May Like: How Does Rehab Help Drug Addicts
Why Growing Old Is One Of The Best Things That Can Happen To You
If you got between 2 and 3 correct answers: You are showing signs of being addicted to video games. You should start to cut back to get it in check.
If you got 4 correct answers: You show some signs of being addicted to video games, but you keep it in check.
If you got 5 correct answers: You aren’t addicted to video games.
What Causes Video Game Addictions
Researchers are not certain what causes video game addiction however, some experts believe that elevated dopamine levels contribute heavily to the problem. The neurotransmitter dopamine works in the brains reward center. It is released during activities most people find pleasurable, including eating and consuming certain drugs.
Therapists view all addictions as functioning essentially the same way. In the case of non-substance addictions, such as those to sex, gambling and gaming, the behavior takes the place of a substance. The action of playing generates a feeling of pleasure, which ensures the addict will repeat the action as often as possible.
In a report published by CBC News in April 2013, a gaming addiction expert said those with certain personality disorders or disabilities are at greater risk than others. She noted that people who suffer from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and Aspergers are particularly susceptible to gaming addiction.
Those who study video game addiction also believe that the problem has a psychological component. They contend that compulsive gamers retreat to a fantasy world to escape their real-life troubles and unpleasant emotions. According to a recent report, 41 percent of those who play online video games indicated they game to escape from reality.
Also Check: What Part Of The Brain Does Addiction Affect
S To Prevent Gaming Problem
There is currently no concrete evidence that shows which video games are more likely to lead to an addiction. Hence, any steps taken to prevent a gaming problem covers all types of games, generally.
- Set a time limit for gaming and stick to it. If possible, get someone to hold you accountable for these restrictions.
- Keep your gaming devices away from your bedroom. Having them nearby may trigger a relapse while youre trying to recover.
Find other activities to get involved in. Physical activities such as exercise will help improve your health and take your mind off gaming too.
As more video games are being created and more immersive gameplay comes to the fore due to technological advancement, video gaming addiction continues to be a genuine worry especially for younger people. However, just like with many other addictions, regaining control of ones mind requires deliberate effort. There is no easy way to get over the addiction, but the physical, social and mental rewards of the effort are completely worth it.
Hope Without Commitment