Adolescent/Teen Gaming Addiction, Bucks County, Pa.
Gaming can be harmless or even beneficial for children and teens, but spending hours and hours gaming, day after day, is a sign of addiction – and parents in Bucks County, PA should not be hesitant to seek therapy for gaming addiction. What starts as a fun social interaction with friends and turns into a compulsion that eats into family time, face-to-face socializing, and academics. By the time parents come to us, they’ve often already locked away video game systems, taken away their adolescents’ phone or computer, and may have set certain hard limits on video game time.
Research suggests that video gaming addiction is damaging to adolescent brains and may affect their attention, focus, and appetite. Adolescents with video gaming addictions often habitually use energy drinks full of caffeine and sugar, which may affect their health and sleep quality. Video Game Addiction is a compulsive mental health disorder that can cause severe damage in one’s life.
Symptoms and complications of gaming addiction may include:
- Preoccupation with video games
- Withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, anxiety, boredom, cravings or sadness when games are taken away
- A compulsion to spend increasing amounts of time engaged in video games
- Unsuccessful attempts by parents to control or restrict gaming
- Loss of interest in other hobbies
- Deceiving family members, therapists or others regarding gaming habits
- Using games to escape or relieve a negative mood
- Reduced academic performance
- Losing or jeopardizing significant relationships, jobs or career opportunities
If you display five or more of these warning signs in a 12-month period, you may have a gaming addiction.
We meet first with the parents to explore the nature of the video gaming addiction and what strategies have already been utilized to mitigate the issue. We will then meet with the child/adolescent and evaluate the strength of the gaming addiction. The therapist will put together a realistic step by step behavioral plan for the family to follow with consequences if not followed. We will evaluate as we go along and add or take away restrictions. If medication is recommended because of an underlying depressive, anxiety, or attention deficit issue appears to be present a psychiatric consult will be recommended.
Call our offices today to set up an appointment with a therapist if you or a loved one are struggling with gaming addiction in Bucks County, Pa.