Signs of Gaming Addiction

By Matt Bulkley | Blog Education Series

STAR Guides Wilderness - Signs of Gaming Addiction

Finally, the world of psychology is starting to recognize video gaming addiction as a real problem and moving away from the notion that it can be fixed by just turning the game off. There hasn’t been much research in this field yet, but some studies have shown that gaming addiction can hamper the emotional, social and academic growth of adolescents.

Just like with every other addiction, gaming addiction also requires a specialized therapy program, which can help individuals beat their condition and learn to live a healthier life. This is exactly what our wilderness therapy program is designed to do. It can help adolescents deal with gaming, sex, internet porn, and cybersex addiction.

Recognizing Gaming Addiction

Before help can be offered to the teens with gaming addiction, it is the parents’ job to correctly recognize if their children have an addiction to video games. We have listed some signs of gaming addiction below, which can help parents determine whether their child is addicted or not. There are two types of gaming addiction signs, emotional and physical, both of which are listed below:

EMOTIONAL SIGNS

The first thing that parents should remember is to treat their kid’s gaming addiction like any other addiction, which means that it should not be taken lightly. Here are some emotional signs that are present in a teenager addicted to gaming:

  • He will feel restless and agitated when kept away from their particular gaming device for long.
  • Their thoughts and emotions will be occupied by their gaming sessions.
  • They will often lie about the amount of time they are spending playing video games.
  • They will try to take every opportunity to try and play games, even if it means remaining isolated for hours and avoiding all social activities.

PHYSICAL SIGNS

Emotional signs may be a bit difficult to observe in teenagers, but the following physical signs will be relatively easier to spot:

  • They will be constantly fatigued, most likely because they aren’t getting enough sleep.
  • Frequency of headaches or migraines will increase, because games require them to watch and concentrate for hours straight.
  • They will experience pain in the wrists or elbow joints, even carpal tunnel syndrome, due to excessive usage of gaming controllers.
  • In some extreme cases, the teen will ignore personal hygiene.

If you observe any of the aforementioned signs in your child, then contact us (800.584.4629) and learn about your next step. Enrolling your kids into our program can not only help them beat their addiction, it can also help them utilize their efforts in a positive activity.

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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