Treatment For Video Game Addiction
VeryWell Mind defines video game addiction as “compulsive or uncontrolled use of video games, in a way that causes problems in other areas of the person’s life.” Excessive participation in video games can lead to addiction because many games occur in real time, are extremely competitive, and highly interactive, which closely mimic real world and authentic social interactions. One of draws of playing video games for young people is that many of the games require its players to create an avatar. In creating an avatar, a young person has complete control over the creation process of his or her avatar persona. This can be incredibly appealing to teenagers, as they are able to fabricate all their fantasies and create an avatar that encapsulates all that he or she wishes to be but is not in reality. This in turn creates a mock reality in which the teenager can participate. Frequently, this reality becomes increasingly more appealing to participate in and a teen will soon opt to avoid participating in his or her real life for the purpose of engaging in a simulated gaming world, where he or she can present solely as his or her fabricated avatar. It simultaneously pulls young people away from participating in any real-life social interaction, which can cause them to miss important aspects of social development.
It is highly common for adolescents to play video games as means to escape or cope with uncomfortable emotions that they are unable to process in a healthy way. Excessively playing video games is not an effective coping mechanism, and if left untreated can result in adverse short and long-term effects. Fortunately, there are a variety of treatment options available for a teen struggling with video game addiction, including immersive treatment programs.
At Pacific Teen Treatment, we offer a residential treatment program, and create customized treatment plans for each of our residents. Therapeutic modalities that are commonly integrated into treatment plans include talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), expressive arts therapy and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). When treating an adolescent with a gaming addiction, in addition to addressing underlying emotional issues, we also work on cutting back on the young person’s time spent playing video games. Our goal is not to teach complete abstinence, but rather help the teen learn to play video games in moderation and in a non-compulsive manner.
While everyone’s treatment plan will differ, there are several aspects of our program that all our clients are encouraged to partake. We promote healthy daily choices by encouraging our teens to practice regular exercise, eat nutritious, and nourishing meals, and get ample rest. We also offer various relaxation activities, such as yoga and meditation. We strive to teach our clients that they can follow healthy daily schedules and successfully meeting the everyday expectations that are placed on adolescents. Having a detailed schedule (that will include time allocated to playing video games as well as many other activities), and successfully practicing a healthy daily routine will help a young person learn to break the cycle of relying on negative coping mechanisms to manage challenges and will also help to boost one’s self-esteem and confidence levels.
For Information and Support
Every family in need of mental health treatment must select a program that will best suit the needs of their family. When one member of a family struggles, it impacts everyone in the family unit. To maximize the benefits of treatment we work closely with the entire family to ensure that everyone is receiving the support they need through these difficult times.
Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know needs mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Pursuing support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.
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