What is a gaming addiction? Many parents are familiar with the frustration of dealing with a teen who won’t turn off their video games. But how do you know when gaming is a problem? Gaming abuse treatment for teens can provide support when casual gaming becomes a video game addiction.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery offers many addiction treatment services for teenage boys. In addition to substance use treatment, we offer treatment for process addictions to video games, smartphones, and social media.
Call 866.300.5275 today to learn more about getting help for a teen gaming addiction at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery.
What Is Gaming Addiction?
What is gaming addiction, and is it really an addiction? It may come as a surprise to learn that video games can be the object of addiction. Traditionally, addiction involves a dependence on substances, particularly drugs or alcohol.
Gaming addiction is a type of process addiction. Two of the best-known types of process addiction are gambling and sex addiction. With a process addiction, the individual becomes addicted to a specific action or process and the resulting emotions they experience.
A process addiction has the same effect on brain chemistry that drug use does. The reward centers are activated, leading to a flood of feel-good chemicals. Over time, the effects of a process like gaming can lead to dependence, complete with withdrawal symptoms when games are taken away.
Parents can help teens get back on track by knowing the signs of gaming addiction and intervening with professional support.
Common Signs of Gaming Addiction in Teens
It’s common for teenagers to assert independence, rebel against parental boundaries, and give parents an attitude that can be difficult to put up with. Parents dealing with a teen who spends too much time playing video games may wonder which reactions are normal teen behaviors and which are signs of a serious problem.
Gaming addiction in teens involves more than resistance to putting down the controller when asked. Some of the key signs that indicate a teen’s gaming is turning into an addiction include:
- Playing games seems like a compulsion
- Other interests and hobbies fall away
- Academics and relationships suffer
- Sleeping, eating, and physical health are impacted
- Extreme emotional reactions when games are taken away
Video games shouldn’t take a toll on other areas of life. When a teen exhibits aggression, violence, or depression when you take away games or restrict access, it’s a sign that gaming use is out of control.
How Is Teen Gaming Addiction Treated?
Today’s teens are the first generation to grow up in a world dominated by technology. It’s not surprising that, on a large scale, young people are developing unhealthy and addictive relationships with technology that simply didn’t exist for previous generations.
We know that support for gaming addiction is harder to find than other types of teen treatment programs. The impact of a video game addiction can be just as destructive as a substance use disorder.
We treat gaming addiction using methods similar to any other type of addiction treatment for teenage boys. Combining traditional and experiential therapies gives teen boys the tools to overcome gaming addiction and resist relapse far into the future.
Get Help with Teen Gaming Addiction at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery is a teen treatment center on a North Carolina horse farm. Our programs address the unique challenges faced by teenagers struggling with addiction.
We understand that addiction to gaming, smartphones, and social media is a new issue. We offer much-needed support to teenage boys and their families as they navigate process addictions.