For many, computer, internet and video game addiction is a psychological struggle that requires individual therapy as well as group therapy to normalize socialization. Computer and video game addiction are identified in the beginning stages of treatment at Sober College at the time of initial assessment.
Excessive gaming can create a sense of isolation that further complicates an individual’s ability to relate to others. In treating addiction, it is critical to help individuals find new ways to cope with negative emotions, stressors and other triggers that cause them to engage in excessive play. In addition, group therapy sessions can provide assistance in putting young adults in situations where they must interact face-to-face with others. This serves to reduce social anxiety, enable healthy relationships to develop and help young adults realize that they are not alone in their journey.
“We help clients learn new coping skills to deal with stress and develop healthy relationships with their peers.”
About Our Video Game Addiction Treatment Program
Sober College recognizes the challenges clients face in regards to addiction and technology; instead of bypassing the issue, we look for ways to help our clients look for healthier ways to interact with technology.
- We are dedicated to helping clients identify whether they are addicted to video games and computers. Because it is difficult to disguise, our treatment team addresses underlying issues surrounding clients’ relationship with technology and provide healthy ways to cope.
- We understand that video game and computer addiction is a compulsive behavior that can turn entertainment into obsession. Our goal is to help diagnose co-occurring disorders that will help clients cope with their addiction and lead to healthier lifestyle choices.
- Sober College recognizes the lack of resources available to young adults struggling with this unique addiction and offers a one-of-a-kind program designed to address this growing problem.
Do you think you or a loved one may struggle with video game addiction?
We can help. Call 800.465.0142 to speak with an admissions counselor.
Addressing Computer & Video Game Addiction in Treatment
Sober College is especially equipped to address video game and computer addiction because it primarily affects adolescents and young adults. As a more age-specific co-occurring disorder, it is important to address addiction as it relates to a generational experience. Treatment for video game and computer addiction can be more difficult as the trigger is not as easily avoided as drugs or alcohol. Computers and technology are an integral piece of daily life for many people. Technology continues to evolve and become the centerpiece of many routine activities. Due to this, treatment for addiction must focus on developing a healthy relationship with technology and the ability to manage usage in a way that does not slip back into addictive behaviors. …Read More Sober College stays on the forefront of young adult addiction treatment because of our ability to adapt to the changing needs of our age-specific clients. Video game and computer addiction is relatively new to the addiction treatment discussion and because it is not currently officially recognized by the American Medical Association, resources for effective treatment are not as readily available as treatment for other types of addiction. Sober College recognizes the lack of resources available to young adults struggling with this unique addiction and offers a one-of-a-kind program designed to address this growing problem. In addition to Sober College’s treatment program, residents can participate in On-Line Gamers Anonymous (OLGA) as another form of group therapy. The program utilizes the 12-steps much like Alcoholics Anonymous and applies them to video game addiction.Overcoming video game and computer addiction can be as difficult as overcoming drug and alcohol abuse, especially because they are so readily available in everyday life. Sober College not only assists young adults in learning how to manage use of technology, but also in ways to overcome the triggers that may have led to the development of addiction. Through individual and group therapies, young adults develop healthy coping mechanisms that assist them in daily life. In addition, developing face-to-face friendships with peers struggling with the same addiction can alleviate social anxiety and encourage young adults to explore socialization outside of the virtual world. Show Less.
Co-Occurring Disorder: Gaming Addiction
Much like gambling, video game addiction is a compulsive behavior that can turn entertainment into obsession. Individuals may become so enthralled in their alternate reality that they begin to neglect personal health, relationships and responsibilities. In many cases, young adults who become addicted to video games and the computer suffer from social anxieties that cause them to seek escape from their realities. Rather than interacting face-to-face, the Internet provides users with the ability to interact in a virtual world where they can become whoever they want. The online world opens a new world where new personas can be explored and those who are shy or feel powerless can become popular and powerful. Video game and computer addiction often exist with mood disorders such as depression or anxiety. …Read More As many as 6 in 10 young adults struggling with drug and alcohol addiction also have one or more co-occurring disorders. The two can negatively impact one another, compounding symptoms and worsening physical and mental condition. Many residents of Sober College have co-occurring disorders that require special attention in treatment. As a dual-diagnosis treatment center, residents of Sober College receive treatment for both addiction and the co-occurring disorders that can complicate symptoms of both. In the case of video game and computer addiction, engagement can become a form of self-medication that produces euphoric feelings. While engagement in video games for fun is not problematic in and of itself, increased, compulsive usage can cause video game and computer play to become addictive. Rather than focusing time on daily life responsibilities, video game and computer usage become the priority, causing relationships and other responsibilities to suffer. Identifying the underlying influences that cause individuals to seek an escape through technology can greatly improve the effectiveness of treatment. In addition to treating the underlying causes of addiction development, it is important to help young adults prioritize their obligations and develop a healthy relationship with technology that does not interfere with other areas of life. Show Less.
About Computer & Video Game Addiction
Sober College treats drug and alcohol addiction as well as any co-occurring disorders that may accompany it. Although not officially recognized by the American Medical Association as a mental health disorder yet, addiction to the computer and video games has become an increasingly prevalent concern, especially in adolescents and young adults. With incredible improvements in the world of technology, the computer and video games have become more appealing to a wider audience and some may prefer indulging in the latest releases rather than spend time with friends and family or engage in physical activity. In many cases, computer and video game addiction can be difficult to identify. Not everyone who plays video games is addicted as they often become another component of entertainment in people’s lives; however, recent studies suggest that anywhere between 10 – 15% of gamers exhibit behaviors that align with criteria for addiction.
Symptoms & Signs of Video Game Addiction
While many symptoms exhibited alone do not necessarily indicate addiction, exhibiting more than one of the following may indicate that behavior is addictive.
- Preoccupation with using the computer or playing video games. Clients struggling with this particular addiction may suffer with preoccupation with using the computer or playing video games. Even when away from them, thoughts may be consumed by using the devices, causing individuals to act irritable or distracted. Often times, they may incessantly talk about a game or the computer.
- Down-playing time spent on the computer or on video games can be an attempt to cover up the amount of time actually consumed by usage. Some may resort to lying in order to play games or create a need to use the computer more frequently.
- The inability to control the amount of time one uses the computer or a game can indicate a lack of control. Even with the intention of only engaging for a short period of time, some may continue to extend usage for several hours. They may lack the control to regulate their own usage.
- Many lose time on the Internet or on video games. Loss of time and lack of control often go hand-in-hand. In many cases, users may intend to spend a few minutes on the device and then find themselves engaged in a game or on the Internet through the night, only realizing it with the rising of the sun.
- Excessive usage can negatively impact other areas of life. In many cases, excessive usage can cause individuals to neglect their responsibilities and relationships. They may begin to distance themselves from friends and family, exhibit lower quality of work or even neglect personal hygiene in order to spend more time online.
- Gaming and computer use may be a form of self-medicating. For some, the online world becomes another reality in which to engage others. Social anxiety, stress, and other negative emotions can lead some to look for an escape online. Online engagement may provide an alternate reality in which one can escape from the pressures of daily life.
- Excessive gaming can lead to misuse of money. Some may disproportionately spend money to buy new games and equipment rather than pay for bills and other necessities.
- Some experience a roller coaster of emotions similar to the use of substances in addiction. Excessive gaming can cause users to experience euphoric feelings quickly followed by guilt or shame over the activity the user was engaged in or about the amount of time lost in it.
Many of these signs do not define video game addiction; however, they can serve as signs if there is concern about a loved one’s usage. Gaming addiction can be just as dangerous as drug and alcohol addiction in the way that it can be abused to escape reality and negatively impact quality of life. Addiction to video games and the computer is often due to social anxieties and can hinder their ability to interact with the real world. While playing video games and computer usage can be just another aspect of a normal day, it becomes an addictive problem when it interferes with other areas of life.