With the advent of technology, we are exposed regularly to the internet and gaming. Addiction has become an increasingly common issue that spans various age groups and social backgrounds. Engaging in gaming and using the internet are not inherently bad, but when does it cross the line and become a concern?
In our work as clinicians we see more cases of gaming and internet addiction. This is not surprising with the presence of diverse online gaming platforms and widespread accessibility of personal devices. However, the impact of gaming addiction has gained significant attention due to the alarming nature that it does not discriminate who it affects. In other words, it does not matter one’s age, gender and/or background. Furthermore, gaming and internet addiction often present themselves alongside other co-morbid mental health conditions.
When to Be Concerned
Individuals struggling with internet and gaming addiction commonly face difficulties in many psycho-social issues that are more noticeable. Some of this issues may include: sleep disturbances, alterations in mood (for example, depression, anxiety, restlessness, irritability), changes in physical health, neglecting personal hygiene, and others.
Additionally, there can be consequential impacts on a person’s ability to perform daily functions when they are struggling with addiction. The impact of addiction on their daily life can disrupt their lifestyle, other activities, responsibilities, education, work, relationships and financial situation. In short, gaming addiction results in multi-faceted consequences. There can be other negative impacts like social withdrawal, low self-esteem and self-worth – issues closely related to the cyberbullying and encountering toxicity due to prolonged exposure online.
Treating Gaming Addiction
There is no simple solution to treat gaming addiction. Beyond managing screen time or doing a detox from devices, working together with a trained mental health professional is the recommended approach to support someone struggling with addiction.
Treatment is a process and takes on many aspects. With the support and patience of a mental health professional, we can work towards recovery from gaming and internet addiction. However, there is no one-size-fits-all treatment. For best results, you will need a tailored treatment plan involving evidence-based approaches and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and working together with an individual’s support network.
At Clinical Psychology Associates, we are here to help you and your family on your mental wellness journey. We offer intervention and personalised treatment for addiction and mental health concerns. Contact us for more information on how to best support your loved ones.