Concerned about your children's time playing video games? Do you ever have a concern they are becoming addicted to playing. Signs to look for to determine how serious their problem is characterized by the following: From Wikipedia: "suggested by some in the medical community as a distinct behavioral addiction characterized by excessive or compulsive use of computer games or video games that interferes with a person's everyday life. Video game addiction may present itself as compulsive gaming, social isolation, mood swings, diminished imagination and hyper-focus on in-game achievements, to the exclusion of other events I life." Just as present in any other type of addiction including alcohol, tobacco, pain killers, cocaine, there are predictable problems with tolerance, withdrawal, and dependence. According to a study by Diane Kuss, with NIMH,
"neuroimaging studies indicate that Internet gaming addiction shares similarities with other addictions, including substance dependence, at the molecular, neurocircuitry, and behavioral levels." Link to study: NIMH Study on Gaming Addiction. If you are interested in completing an assessment, complete the form.Bottom line, the study says, about 6% of users become severely addicted. There is help available, but there will be withdrawal, emotional reactions and fears arise. Prepare by "detoxing" with a slow withdrawal with an end date in mind. Creating a host of alternative behaviors to replace the video-gaming time will be necessary. This should including re-establishing social connections and getting back into the world. Not an easy concept for someone who made be socially anxious, phobic or really, really shy. However, like any other addiction, there is help and there are ways to manage your life. All addictions change the brain. If you want to get some help for yourself or your child, call me. I will help you score and assess the seriousness of your time spent online with video-gaming to determine if you are addicted.
Link to the actual article: Internet Gaming Article