Video games are not new, but they are more addictive than ever. Compared to video games of the past, modern video games are extremely immersive, social, and addictive. About 5% of the American population of children is addicted to internet video games, and that is a problem for parents across the country. Many have reached out to reSTART, a residential, therapeutic retreat center focusing on adults’ and teens’ internet addiction.
Children and teens may get involved in these games because they are escaping stress from school. Many of them also feel lonely, and the social component of multiplayer games is attractive to players. According to statistics, boys are more susceptible to excessive video game playing than girls, and there is a correlation between gaming and attention-related disorders. Although the research done in this area is not conclusive, we know that playing video games increases dopamine in the brain and changes brain functioning in both emotional and cognitive areas.
Current trends in American society have emphasized talking openly about mental health, but they have also over-used terminology that may not be appropriate. Individuals may be quick to label themselves or others with an “addiction,” especially when it comes to an internet or video game addiction, but the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders states that more research is necessary in these areas. What we do know is that there are specific criteria that need to be met in order to be diagnosed with an addiction.
If you think you or someone you know may be struggling with an addiction to anything ranging from substances to alcohol, video games, or the internet, call us today. One of the clinicians at Health for Life would be happy to talk with you about your concerns and discuss your treatment goals.
Learn more by visiting our counseling page here.
Or reach out for a complimentary 15-minute consultation here.
Or call 616-200-4433. We at Health for Life would be glad to help!