Is Gaming Addiction Real?

By Matt Bulkley | Blog Education Series

STAR Guides Wilderness - Is Gaming Addiction Real

Video games have been a major part of adolescent life for decades. In the past it used to be a couple of hours of gaming on your good old Atari and Nintendo console a day. Flash forward to the present and video games are larger than ever and have become an essential part of every teenager’s and young adult’s life.

Games are everywhere; teens cannot escape them even if they try to. A single type of game can now be played on multiple platforms. Cell phones, computers, tablets, laptops, etc, have all become gaming consoles, so in a way if someone was addicted to gaming, they would have a hard time escaping their addiction. Our wilderness therapy program has been designed with all these facts in mind, to make it as effective as possible in helping teens with gaming addiction. The program also helps adolescents struggling with internet porn and cybersex addiction.

Is it Real?

There are many who believe that video game addiction is not a real thing and that it is just a harmless hobby for teenagers. There are some who disagree with this fact and believe that video games, just like other addictive substances, affect the brain of an addict. This is why many psychologists now recognize video game addiction and have classified it as a mental disorder called “video game dependency disorder”.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Video gaming addiction can be efficiently identified through the withdrawal symptoms experienced by the addicts. Multiple studies into the matter have shown that gaming addicts’ brain scans resemble those of cocaine or drug addicts.

This is significant because it means that gaming addicts may have similar withdrawal symptoms as drug and alcohol addicts. These symptoms can include the following:

  • Gaming addicts complain of being agitated when they aren’t able to get back to their virtual adventures.
  • They suffer bouts of insomnia, when they go too long without playing a video game.
  • They display the same type of anxious behavior as an alcoholic or drug addict does, when they give up their addiction.
  • Some gaming addicts have also said that they have experienced hallucinations after they had given up video games.

So, it is important that you pay attention towards the time your children spend playing video games, because it is believed that the number of teens suffering from video game dependency is in millions. And there have been instances where people have literally died, because of playing games for too long. Make sure that your child only spends a reasonable amount of time playing games and if you believe that s/he might have a problem, then call us (800.584.4629) and enroll them into our program, so they can receive immediate help.

About the Author

Matt is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been working in the field of youth treatment and psychotherapy since 1995. He did his undergraduate work at BYU and earned his M.S.W. at the University of Utah. He has worked in a variety of treatment setting in his career ranging from wilderness therapy and residential treatment to outpatient treatment and state government.

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