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Gaming Addiction

Boy with headphones on in front of computer screen with face in his hands

Gaming Addiction

Gaming has become an obsession for many players, especially men under 30. The WHO (World Health Organization) has officially decided to include gaming disorder in its list of behavioral disorders. As soon as a child’s gaming habits become persistent, and it impairs their personal, social, family and educational performance or functions, the child needs to be considered for video game addiction treatment.

Counselor talking to a teenager

When to Seek Gaming Addiction Treatment

Playing video games produces a similar effect in the brain as the high produced by alcohol or drugs — so, doctors recognize that gaming can produce the same type of addictive behavior as drugs and alcohol. If your teenager prefers to play video games all day or night instead of handling basic personal hygiene or hanging out with friends, you may need to seek teen gaming addiction treatment.

Before we admit a teenage patient for treatment at Gateway, we have a detailed interview with the parent to know the type of treatment the teen needs. After working with teens with behavioral disorders for many decades, we know that addiction to gaming is a sign of other underlying issues. It’s these issues that drive the child to stay in seclusion and avoid those painful feelings.

Causes and Effects of Gaming Addiction

Unlike the abundance of scientific and clinical studies on the biological aspects of drug and alcohol addiction, those related to gaming addiction are not well documented. Online gaming gives a player an escape from addressing real-world issues, and it also alters the perception of a person’s self-esteem.

Most video games provide a fantasy world that lures players into assuming a fictional role. For instance, a brilliant child who is not popular at school can assume a dominant role during the game. This could make the game more enticing than their real-world role.

Excessive video game playing is potentially dangerous because the child will have little or no time for academic work, socializing, exercising or sports. It also hinders emotional development.

During therapy, some gamers show serious withdrawal symptoms such as anger, violence and depression if their access to electronic games is restricted.

What are Gaming Addiction Symptoms?

Some of the signs of increasing dependence on video games or online gaming disorder include:

  • Obsession with online gaming, the Internet or social media
  • Refusing to face real-life problems
  • Playing games to escape tough situations
  • Playing daily for excessively long times
  • Refusing to bathe or eat because of video games
  • Frequent anxiety and depression
  • Telling lies about how long they have played video games
  • Losing interest in social activities or relationships with friends
  • Withdrawal, anger or irritability anytime the child is denied access to games
Young people in group therapy

How to Know When Your Child Needs Gaming Addiction Rehab

Many people who need gaming addiction rehab are teenagers. More males suffer from behavioral disorders related to gaming. Most of these kids also have poor self-worth and social problems. These children are intelligent, but they have few friends.

At Gateway, we do an extensive check on family background and history before admitting people into therapy. A history of addiction can be a factor in gaming addiction.

Teenager having a meeting with a therapist

Answers to Questions About Teen Gaming Addiction Treatment

Q: What are the steps I should take when I discover that my child has an obsession with gaming?

A: First, develop self-discipline with electronics — games, smartphones, TV and more. Your child will naturally follow your example. Help your child develop a different relationship with electronics and video games. Next, get personal or family counseling to help your child realize that gaming is a diversion from a situation they don’t want to confront. You may also consider taking your child to Gateway for a program that treats gaming addiction effectively.

We Offer Gaming Addiction Treatment in Chicago, IL

Gateway offers life-saving addiction treatment that works. We provide high-quality care using evidence-based treatment techniques. We’ve been offering addiction treatment to people in Illinois for over 50 years. If you are struggling with gambling addiction in conjunction with substance abuse, please call 877–377–2027 or reach us through our contact page.