Gaming Addiction Treatment
Any family with a teenager in the house will know the large part that gaming plays in their lives, but how do you know when this moves from being a typical teenage past-time to a problem?
Gaming is a popular hobby for many people, and teenagers in particular will happily while away many hours with a controller in hand in order to unwind. However, when this starts to get in the way of everyday life and social contact, it might be the start of something more damaging.
Teenage Gaming Addiction
Gaming is considered to be an addiction in the same way that drugs and alcohol are, and treating the problem is never as simple as just unplugging the device. The patient is just as likely to suffer withdrawal symptoms and this action is unlikely to resolve the underlying causes behind the problem.
In moderation, gaming can be beneficial as it can help the user to deal with stress, raise their self-esteem and in some cases improve their IQ, but it needs to be something which does not impact on normal life or family dynamics.
There is also an increasing concern about delusion of young people in how it relates to their perception of reality. They are dismissive of their own reality through not liking themselves, they will delve into an alternative reality where they can advance, achieve, win and evolve quickly and neglect their physical and mental reality.
Why Do Some Young People Become Addicted to Gaming?
Gaming addiction is a relatively new condition that has grown with the advent of gaming consoles and easily accessible Wi-Fi connections. It is now officially recognised as a mental health condition and prioritising it over and above anything else in life is typical of addictive behaviour.
It is possible to become addicted to any game, and this can be done through gaming consoles, computers, phones or tablets. At the best of times, gaming can seem addictive as our child spends hours consumed by what is happening on the screen in front of them. When this is coupled with the use of headphones, they can seem shut off from the outside world entirely.
Many games are designed to keep the user hooked for hours on end, and as they often involve interaction with others, it can make the gamer feel as though they have better contact with the outside world than they actually do. Unlike drinking or diet, there are very few guidelines on what constitutes healthy or unhealthy gaming time.
The current phenomena of gaming has been designed not just to reach new levels or beat high scores, but to play endlessly with or against real people, which adds to the compulsion and takes away natural points at which the user might take a break. The gamer is lured in by the constant possibility of further rewards that they feel the need to strive for, always seeking the next one.
Symptoms of Gaming Addiction
Whilst many teenagers will spend hours locked in their bedrooms, there are ways to tell when their hobby has become an addiction.
They will spend all of their time thinking about or wanting to play the game and will become noticeably irritable and restless when they cannot. Some teens have been found to become either aggressive or withdrawn when they are not gaming or when they are asked to stop gaming, which can have a big impact on family life.
They often game well into the early hours of the morning which can lead to a disruption in sleeping patterns i.e. sleeping during the day and being awake, gaming all night.
Avoiding Social Contact
They are likely to be dishonest about the amount of time they spend playing and may avoid socialising or going to school in order to spend more time gaming.
We all know that some teenagers are good at avoiding the shower, holding off using the bathroom, and you may find that they neglect themselves further by failing to pay any attention to personal hygiene and not eating properly, increasing sugar intake and skipping meals.
This constant time in front of a screen can lead to tiredness and headaches, and there can also be pain in the hands and fingers from over-using the controller. Make a note of how many hours your teenager is spending on gaming and see if you can spot patterns of this time increasing.
How can Archangel Help?
Whilst gaming addiction is still not taken seriously in some quarters, we understand exactly what affect this problem can have on the sufferer and those around them. As experts in teenage addiction, we can offer dedicated support through an individually designed treatment plan in the same way as we do with any other mental health patient.
Our residential gaming addiction treatment centre offers one-to-one therapy sessions with professional counsellors to help work through any underlying reasons for the compulsion and how to deal with the affects of it and work through their reality.
Your teenager will also be encouraged to join our group therapy sessions to allow them to share experiences and understand that they are not alone in what they are going through. We also offer family therapy sessions which will help you to understand why your loved one finds themselves in the position that they do and how you can help them effectively and constructively.
In addition to therapy, our teenage gaming addiction treatment includes classes in exercise, yoga, and cookery to create new, healthy habits and re-establish interests away from gaming. We urge everyone to get involved in the running and care of the house to help them to feel part of a family unit and take responsibility for their surroundings.
How it Works
If you suspect that someone you love has a problem with gaming, then we are here to help.
It all starts with a simple phone call where we can find out more about your situation. This will help us to create a picture of the extent of the problem and what may have caused it. You will get the opportunity to ask us anything you need about what we offer and how we can help before we put together a unique treatment plan.
When your loved one enters teenage gaming addiction rehab, our counsellors will be on hand at all hours of the day to offer the help and support they need, whenever they need it. We will work through all of the relevant issues for as long as is necessary and will continue to offer support even after they have left the house to ensure that everyone involved feels able to cope and can access help in times of need.