Gaming Addiction Treatment

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Video Game Addiction (Gaming Addiction) is Real

Video game addiction is a growing concern in our society, as more and more people are becoming compulsively and excessively engaged in this form of entertainment. It is a form of behavioral addiction, also known as a process addiction, and it is considered to be a chronic behavioral disorder.

Like substance addictions, video game addiction can lead to negative consequences in a person’s life, such as social isolation, neglect of personal responsibilities, and poor academic or occupational performance. It can also cause physical health problems, such as eye strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and poor posture. Additionally, it can lead to emotional and psychological issues, such as depression, anxiety, and aggression.

Symptoms of Video Game Addiction:

  1. Feeling an overwhelming need to play video games
  2. Losing track of time while playing
  3. Neglecting personal responsibilities and relationships
  4. Feeling irritable or anxious when not playing
  5. Lying about how much time is spent playing
  6. Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not playing
  7. Feeling guilt or shame about playing
  8. Continuing to play despite negative consequences

Where Does Video Game Addiction Start?

Factors that can contribute to the development of video game addiction include genetics, underlying mental health conditions, and environmental factors. Additionally, video games themselves can be designed to be highly addictive, with features such as rewards, points, and levels that are designed to keep players engaged for extended periods of time.

The American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders criteria for video game addiction is very similar to a substance use disorder. In both cases, the person requires more of the source as time goes on and becomes irritable and sad when they cannot access it. In fact, people addicted to video games can even experience withdrawal symptoms.

While the harm of addictions to substances has readily apparent symptoms, it is less clear with video game addiction. However, video game addiction can still negatively affect life in the same way a substance addiction can. Those who play for hours each day become withdrawn and isolated, foregoing work, school and other responsibilities to play. Younger addicts often miss out on critical education and important social development, while adults tend to experience deteriorating relationships and problems with their employers.

How is Gaming Addiction treated?

Treatment for video game addiction is similar to treatment for other disorders – like substance use disorder. Counselling and behaviour modification are the primary means of treating addicted gamers. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is one of the most effective forms of therapy in treating video game addiction. It aims to change the thought patterns and behaviors that lead to excessive gaming. Family therapy can also be beneficial as it helps to address the impact of the addiction on loved ones.

Unlike drugs or alcohol, video games are tied to devices, which are a key part of life for most people. In many cases it’s not possible to just stop using devices (computers, tablets, smartphones) and that makes video game addiction similar to disordered eating – we still need to eat, and we’ll likely still need to use devices at some point in our lives. For many, the goal is controlled use rather than abstaining from using devices altogether.

There is no cure for these behavioural addictions, however, individuals do progress into remission and stop experiencing the negative effects of these behavioural addictions with significant work on themselves, and promoted self-awareness to manage triggers and avoid pitfalls in life. At that point, their work shifts more from acute treatment towards ongoing behavioural change maintenance.

Last Door’s Services

Video game addiction is a serious issue that affects many individuals and can cause negative consequences in various areas of life. It is important for individuals who feel like they cannot control their gaming behaviour and that it causes problems in their daily life, to seek professional help. With the right treatment and support, individuals can overcome their addiction and regain control over their lives.

Last Door is proud to offer services to help treat individuals struggling with the negative effects of media overuse including video game addiction. We offer help for teens and adults to overcome their gaming addictions, and learn new healthy behaviours. People from across North America have come to Last Door to recover from Video Game Addiction.

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