We can help your loved one to break the habit of accessive video gaming
Video game addiction (Gaming Addiction) is a real, chronic behavioural disorder that is treatable with a variety of approaches.
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.
Typically gaming must cause significant “impairment or distress” in multiple aspects of a person’s life in order to be considered problematic or an “addiction”.
Some of the symptoms include:
- Increasing preoccupation with gaming
- Withdrawal symptoms when gaming is taken away or not possible (sadness, anxiety, irritability)
- Tolerance, the need to spend more time gaming to satisfy the urge to game
- Inability to reduce playing, unsuccessful attempts to quit gaming
- Giving up other activities, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities due to gaming
- Continuing to game despite problems or negative consequences
- Deceiving family members or other important relationships about the amount of time spent on gaming
- The use of gaming to relieve negative moods, such as guilt or hopelessness
- Risk, having jeopardized or lost a job or relationship due to gaming
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 Those who play for hours each day become withdrawn and isolated, foregoing work, school and other responsibilities to play.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. Together, individual and family counselling are powerful treatment tools.
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 is proud to offer services to help treat individuals struggling with the negative effects of media overuse including video game addiction.
Last Door Recovery Society helps teens and adults overcome their gaming addictions, learn new healthy behaviours, people from across North America come to Last Door to recovery from Video Game Addiction.
Last Door Blogs on Video Gaming Addiction