Treating Video Game Addiction

Do you believe that your child or another loved one is addicted to video games? If so, it’s important to have an understanding of the potential causes, signs, and treatment options. While it is not easy to cure video game addiction, it is definitely possible. Keep reading to learn more about treatment methods and how you can help a loved one beat their video game addiction. 

Is Video Game Addiction A Real Thing?

The short answer is “yes,” video game addiction is a real thing. The harm of gaming addiction is in the early stages, but that doesn’t mean that this disease isn’t serious. The International Classification of Diseases currently recognizes this addiction as “Gaming Disorder.” 

Almost anyone can become addicted to video games; but the most common group is boys and men. Games are designed to target this 6 to 18-year-old male demographic and keep them engaged for long periods of time. Not only do video games increase dopamine and stimulate the pleasure centers in the brain, but they also provide instant gratification for players. This feeling can provide a rush of adrenaline and can, in some cases, become addictive. 

While it may not cause side effects as severe as those that come with alcohol or drug abuse, video game addiction can have a serious impact on an individual’s physical and mental health. 

Video game addiction, which is considered a mental health condition, can potentially cause a variety of other long-term health complications and conditions. This disorder may lead to:

  • Eye straining
  • Behavioral issues
  • Weight gain or obesity
  • Back & neck problems
  • Poor sleep or insomnia
  • Agoraphobia (fear of leaving the house)
  • Other mental health conditions (depression and anxiety)

Of course, not everyone who plays video games will experience these effects. Even though this addiction is very real, it is important not to confuse simply enjoying video games with having a video game addiction. Not everyone who plays games often necessarily has an addiction. People can be very passionate about video games without being addicted to them. So how can you tell when someone is actually addicted to video games? 

Side Effects & Signs of Video Game Addiction

Video game addiction is different for everyone who faces it, but there are some general side effects. Those who battle an addiction to video games may show one or more signs that they rely on playing to get through their days. If you think your child or another loved one may be dealing with a gaming addiction, keep an eye out for the following behaviors:

  • Lying about how much time they spend playing
  • Not wanting to do things they used to enjoy
  • Having problems at work, school, or home
  • Playing despite problems it causes
  • Thinking about gaming all the time
  • Not being able to quit or play less
  • Feeling bad when they can’t play
  • Stopping with all other hobbies
  • Needing to play to feel good
  • Gaming to ease bad moods

Of course, these signs are just guidelines and do not apply to everyone who has a video game addiction. But if your child is showing the behaviors above, it is likely that they might have one. 

Is Your Child Addicted to Video Games?

If your child’s social life and schoolwork do not suffer due to them playing video games, then they probably do not have a video game addiction. There is no need to worry if their grades are not dropping and if they are still spending time with their friends or doing other things they enjoy. 

Given the information above, do you think that your child might be suffering from an addiction to video games? If so, there are many options available to help them overcome this disorder. 

How To Cure Video Game Addiction

When you realize that your child may have a video game addiction, the next step is talking to your child’s doctor or a psychologist about how to move forward. The first thing they will do is work to understand the underlying cause of the addiction. After that, they will create a unique treatment plan to help your child understand and change their behaviors.

Some treatment options for video game addiction include CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy), community support and resources, talk therapy, exercise plans, and more. 
To learn more about video addiction and how to treat it, contact our mental health specialists for additional information. If you are interested in receiving mental healthcare for yourself or a loved one, feel free to reach out to our team at Elium Health by calling (215) 714-6027 or sending an email to

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