Video game addiction is a real phenomenon, and like other addictive behaviors there are signs to look for if you’re concerned that you or a loved one may have a video game addiction. If you or a loved one exhibit two, three or more of the symptoms below, video game addiction treatment.
Lack of Control
Individuals who are addicted to or are developing an addiction to gaming are often unable to control the amount of time they spends on the computer. The individual may go online with the intention of spending 15 or 20 minutes on the computer but continue until several hours have passed.
Individuals who are addicted to video games often exhibit an unusual preoccupation with the game or computer when they are away from it. Gaming often consumes their mind and serves as a distraction from responsibilities and other hobbies.
Downplaying Computer Use
Individuals with addictive computer-related behaviors often downplay the amount of time they spend in front of the TV or computer.
Negative Impact on Other Areas of Life
Spending inordinate amounts of time on a computer or video game console often lead addicted individuals to neglect other areas of life. The individual may grow distant from friends and family with whom they had previously been close.
Hiding From Negative or Uncomfortable Feelings or Situations
Often people use gaming to self-medicate, and in the process become addicted. When confronted with situations or feelings that are uncomfortable, the person may use the game as a method of avoidance.
Denial upon being asked or confronted about time spent gaming is often an indication that something is wrong, especially if the person seems to lack concern about friends and family feeling neglected as a result of the individual’s gaming.
Problem video gaming can be defined as a daily maladaptive behavior that results in negative consequences, and it is often diagnosed along with another mental disorder or chemical dependency. A video game addiction is an impulse control disorder, much like addiction to cocaine or alcohol. Northbound treats video game addiction in much the same way as substance abuse addictions. We acknowledge that addiction is a disease and our treatment methods are designed to help clients live healthy lives.
Research has shown that selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are often effective in treating individuals suffering from both a video game addiction and a co-occurring condition. Northbound takes a holistic approach to treatment, combining drug therapies with talk therapy and 12-step to begin the healing process. Video game addiction is generally treated at a rehab center, as video game addiction treatment centers are far and few between.
Attention deficit disorder/attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADD/ADHD) are very common co-occurring disorders with video game addiction. Northbound is equipped to handle this dual-diagnosis and will work to develop unique individual treatment that addresses both issues. The clinical team at Northbound constantly updates their clinical approaches based on the newest research and training techniques available. One of the greatest allies in the fight against video game addiction is time—the longer the client stays in a safe and therapeutic environment, the lower the rate of relapse. This is why Northbound has developed our PHASE system which allows clients to progress towards independence while still being held accountable and receiving treatment.
A gaming addiction often takes over an individual’s life, as they completely stop taking care of themselves, leading to personal and professional problems. Long-term abstinence from gaming allows the video game addict to get their life back. Treatment at Northbound will teach healthy behaviors and responses and assist with safe and productive interactions with computers and video games in the future.