Video Game Addiction

Help for Gaming Addiction

Millions of people worldwide play video games to relax and connect with friends. But when does gaming become unhealthy? The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children and adolescents should play no more than two hours of video games in one sitting.
For adults, it can be trickier to tell when you’ve crossed the line between being an avid fan and having a problem because you are responsible for setting the rules for yourself. However, any amount of gaming that adversely affects other aspects of your life – like work, sleep and interpersonal relationships – is unhealthy.

Is Gaming Addiction A Mental Disorder?

Video game addiction typically begins in adolescence and continues through adulthood. While young men are more likely to develop this problem, women can also get caught in the cycle. The World Health Organization defines a gaming disorder as a behavioral pattern that’s severe enough to interfere with areas of daily functioning for at least a year.
A hallmark of any addiction is feeling compelled to keep doing something, even if it results in negative consequences. People get addicted to technology like video games because the intermittent rewards release a feel-good chemical called dopamine. Once your brain has learned that gaming is a source of pleasure, a casual hobby can become a preoccupation.

Do You Need Help?

Professional technology addiction treatment may be necessary if you or your child can no longer strike a healthy balance between video games and daily responsibilities.

Warning signs of a gaming addiction include:

  • Neglecting work, school and chores in favor of playing games
  • New or worsening relationship problems
  • Forgetting to eat or drink while gaming
  • Ignoring hygiene
  • Thinking about video games when you aren’t playing them
  • Becoming irritable or anxious if you are away from games for too long
  • Spending more than you can afford on new games, accessories, consoles or in-app purchases

Therapy For Video Game Addiction

Cognitive behavioral therapy has proven to be one of the most effective ways to treat video game addiction. CBT teaches people how to identify links between their thoughts, feelings and actions and become more aware of how these variables affect their lives. CBT is so goal-oriented and specific that it can help you learn how to change your habits without using medication. It also tends to take less time than other therapeutic interventions.
Many people have found success in using CBT to reduce compulsions and replace negative thoughts with more constructive ones. While total abstinence is the best way for people to fully recover from substance use disorders, it’s unrealistic to assume anyone can avoid all technology and still succeed at work or school. Instead, the goal of video game addiction therapy is to teach people to control their impulses.

Gaming Addiction Help In Hattiesburg, Ms

Pine Grove Behavioral Health & Addiction Services, an extension of Forrest General Hospital, is one of the nation’s leading mental and behavioral health treatment facilities. We treat issues such as psychiatric disorders, autism, process addictions, substance use disorders and dual diagnoses. If you are ready to learn more about how we can help you and your family, please reach out to us today.
pine tree Pine Grove Behavioral Health logo

Get In Touch

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.