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Choosing a Top Private Gaming Addiction Treatment Center

It’s common for teens to daydream about becoming someone else. In an alternate reality, they wouldn’t need to go to school or deal with nagging parents, and they could participate in activities that seemed meaningful and important. Perhaps they could slay dragons or maybe they could save the princess from a fate worse than death. They would be powerful, with a team of friends who respected them for their skill and prowess. In the past, teens would simply stare out the window while they played these images in their minds. Now, teens can play videogames and experience these alternate realities on a firsthand basis.

Many teens play videogames to help add spice to their monotonous lives. Adults, too, may find a well-crafted game to be interesting and appealing. While some people can play a videogame from time to time, others become obsessed with the games they play, and they begin to feel more comfortable in the world of the game than they do in the real world. These people may have a gaming addiction.

Addictive Games

When videogames were first introduced, they were crude games of skill and manual dexterity. Gamers moved objects from place to place to score points, or they shot down objects as they fell from the sky. Often, these were games played in isolation, but gamers could also play in groups of two to four.

Modern videogames, by contrast, are often much more addictive. In a modern computer game, the player takes on a new identity and may keep that identity each and every time the game is played. These games are often played online, allowing the gamer to meet other players and interact with them on a regular basis. According to Online Gamers Anonymous, games can be particularly addictive if:

  • Time spent playing equals increased skill. People who only play from time to time may find that they cannot succeed at the game, and they may feel like failures if they see their scores compared to the scores of others.
  • The games cannot be won. Some games simply never end, and the player moves from level to level in an ever-escalating loop. Since the game never ends, the player has no incentive to stop playing.
  • Group activities are required. Some games are built upon team playing, meaning that a certain number of people must play all at once. These games depend on appointments, and they can make the games seem important.
  • The games are built in sessions. Some games require the player to play in blocks of four to six hours. Players who quit before this time has elapsed lose all of their progress, making the time played seem wasted. This sort of blocking of time can encourage obsessive playing.
  • Games encourage players to link up or form guilds. These sorts of games encourage players to form relationships with one another, and these relationships can normalize obsessive playing behaviors.

This doesn’t mean, however, that basic videogames played alone with a console and a television can’t be addictive. Almost any activity can become an addiction if it is nourished and taken to an extreme. But basic games may not have the same sort of addictive elements built in. An online game, by its very nature, seems to encourage obsessive play and those games can be particularly dangerous for those with a tendency toward addiction.

Defining Gaming Addiction

Separating people who have an addiction from people who do not can be slightly difficult. This task can be doubly difficult in people who have gaming addiction. There is no blood test or brain scan that can be used to spot the disorder, and there is definitive timeline that can be used to separate addicts from other players. Some people play videogames for six hours per day and don’t have an addiction. Other people play for two hours per day and they do have an addiction. It all comes down to how the person feels about the videogame.
According to an article published in Science Daily, around 7 to 11 percent of people who play videogames can be considered “pathological gamers.” These are people who may not even truly enjoy playing the games they play. Instead, they feel physically and mentally compelled to play the games, and they’re unable to stop playing even when they want to stop. People who play the games for fun and who enjoy their time may be able to stop playing when it’s time to go to work, and if they are unable to play, they find other things to do.

People with a gaming addiction may feel distressed when they’re unable to play, and they may play to the exclusion of all other activities.People with a gaming addiction may:

  • Refuse to go to school or stay home from work in order to play
  • Feel more comfortable in the video world than they do in real life
  • Lie about how often they play videogames
  • Feel disgusted with themselves for time spent playing
  • Spend money on games instead of food, rent or other necessities
  • Constantly think about the game when not playing
  • Become depressed or angry when not playing

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Some parents discover that their teens have an addiction to gaming when they attempt to remove the game from the teen’s possession. One parent, interviewed for an article by the Associated Press, reported that her son became violent and abusive when told he could no longer play videogames. This sort of behavior change is also a hallmark of addiction.

The Risks of Gaming

Teens who neglect their studies in order to play videogames may earn low marks at school, and some may even fail out of school completely due to their addiction.

Some experts believe that videogame addiction isn’t truly dangerous. In a paper published in the International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, the researchers argue that the fears of addiction are overblown and do not truly exist. Instead, the researchers argue, videogame players simply have a problem with time management and they need to learn how to play the games while still participating in life. While this may be true of some people who play games, the fact remains that some people face steep consequences for their gaming, and these problems go well beyond simple wasted time.

College students, in particular, may be at high risk of academic failure due to gaming addiction, as they aren’t being supervised by their parents while in school. Instead of going to class or studying for tests, they may be playing games and they may be asked to leave their schools due to their poor performance. They are wasting time, it’s true, but they are also throwing away their tuition money and their low grades may remain on their records for the rest of their lives.

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Some people who become obsessed with their games become incredibly depressed about their behavior. Losing at a game they’ve devoted a significant amount of time to can be demoralizing, but so can the idea of losing friends and family due to gaming. The addict may know that the behavior isn’t normal but may still be unable to stop. Suicide might seem like a reasonable escape hatch for these people.Some young people play videogames because they have difficulty relating to others in the real world. They may find it difficult to relate to others, and they may seem shy and awkward in front of their peers. The adolescent years are the time when people learn to deal with these feelings and develop skills that can help them relate to others. If teens miss out on these lessons because they’re playing videogames, they may never develop into well-rounded adults who can succeed in the workforce.

In the past, researchers suggested that people who play videogames repeatedly and obsessively were at high risk for aggression and anger disorders. Modern studies seem to dispute this claim. According to one study published in Cyber Psychology and Behavior found that 11.9 percent of people studied had a definable videogame addiction, but very few of those people exhibited aggression. The addiction itself was damaging, but it wasn’t linked to aggression.

 

What to Do

People who play videogames obsessively may need a formal intervention. Here, family members and concerned friends confront the addict with the consequences of the addiction, and they outline what treatment for addiction looks like and how it can help. Often, these interventions are surprisingly effective. The addict learns that the behavior is both public and noticeable, and the addict also learns that treatment is both available and effective.

Some people with videogame addictions need medications to ease anxiety, but others benefit from 12-step groups and counseling sessions. Combining the two approaches may be best for others. The addiction will rarely resolve on its own, however, and the addict must often be encouraged to join treatment programs. If someone you know is struggling with a gaming addiction, you can provide that encouragement. Please call us and find out more about successful treatment programs.

Gaming Addiction Signs

Does someone you care about seem to immerse themselves in their online game or video game of choice? Do they seem dedicated to nothing but achieving the next level, or engaging with online friends or others who play their favorite game? It may seem like an innocuous hobby at first, but studies have shown that gaming addiction is real and signs of gaming addiction are not to be ignored.

Don’t let your loved one’s life get swallowed up by gaming. Remind them that a healthy and balanced life exists – help them get the treatment they need. Call now to learn more.

Signs Your Loved One Needs Gaming Addiction Treatment

Do you recognize any of the following symptoms in your loved one regarding his attention to gaming?

  • He doesn’t leave his room for days on end or has everything set up so that he doesn’t need to leave the house.
  • He pays little attention to hygiene – for himself or his living space.
  • He subsists off delivery food and whatever is brought to him rather than healthy meals.
  • He refuses to sleep and may take stimulant drugs to stay awake and continue gaming.
  • He doesn’t go to doctors’ appointments – neither regular checkups nor when he is sick.
  • He avoids contact and interaction with people IRL (in real life).
  • He does not participate in family events.
  • He has lost his job, his progress in school, and his relationships with in-person friends.

Learn More About Gaming Treatment Options When You Contact Us Now

There’s no time like the present to learn more about what you can expect your loved one to experience in gaming addiction treatment. Contact us today to find the right program and get your family member started. Call now.