Video Games Addiction Treatment Programs
It is unfortunate, but true, that the prevalence of video games has led to an increase in video game addiction and the need for video game addiction treatment programs. As video games become more sophisticated and compelling to play, many individuals are finding they are, or someone they love is, having difficulty limiting the amount of time they spend playing games. Particularly at risk for developing a video game addiction are men under 30, shy or troubled teenagers, and children.
Video Game Addiction Treatment Programs
Currently, there is no formal diagnosis for video game addiction. Formally, it is described as an excessive or compulsive use of computers or video games to the point where it interferes with a person’s daily life. Psychologists have found video game addiction mirrors gambling addiction in a key way. According to Kimberly Young, clinical director for the Center for On-Line Addiction, video game addiction is a clinical impulse control disorder. Like gambling addiction, people who are addicted to video games have difficulty controlling the impulse to play.
It is uncertain exactly what causes people to become addicted to gaming. Like other addictions, there is a definite psychological factor at work. People who are addicted to gaming use video games to escape the real world. For example, a young man who is subjected to bullying at work may escape to the video game world where he had more control over his environment.
Because there is no formal diagnosis for video game addiction, there are little to no formal video game addiction treatment programs. However, there is still hope and help for those addicted to video games.
Treatment for video game addiction can be obtained in one of two ways:
- Individualized treatment with a licensed professional who has experience treating addictions
- Group therapy through Gamblers’ Anonymous or a similar program
From console games to computer games to cell phone games, video games are a major part of the society. As such, treating video game addiction is not as simple as teaching an addict how to avoid the computer. Since many video game addicts are required to use a computer to function in society, treatment will focus on helping them learn how to use one responsibly and how to effectively deal with the impulse to play video games.
Signs You are Addicted to Playing Video Games
- Inability to cease playing video games
- Thinking obsessively about gaming
- Decreased interest in other people or activities outside of gaming
- A reduction in performance at home, work, and/or school
- Increasingly poor hygiene
- Lying to friends or family members about game related activities, such as the amount of time spent playing games or the amount of money spent buying games
- Committing crimes to continue playing video games (e.g. stealing money)
Signs a Child or Adolescent is Addicted to Video Games
If you suspect a child or teenager is addicted to video games, look for the following signs:
- The child spends the bulk of his or her free time playing video games
- He or she begins falling behind in classes, missing classes, or fail to complete assignments
- Showing a preference for playing video games rather than spend time with family or participate in other activities
- Suddenly dropping out of activities they enjoyed previously
- He or she show signs of withdrawal such as irritability, anger, or agitation when they are not able to play video games
A child or teenager who spends a lot of time playing video games may not necessarily be addicted to them. It is a good idea to monitor his or her gaming behavior and keep a written record of your observations. The record should include information on when and how long the child plays, how the child react when he or she is forced to stop playing, and any problems that arise from his or her gaming activities.
If you, or someone you love, need video game addiction treatment, then seek help from a caring professional as soon as possible by calling 1-888-439-3435 Who Answers? or filling out a short contact form.