Playing video games is an excellent pastime for young adults–especially boys. Who does not love to get lost in a virtual world and win a good game? While relaxing and playing a video with friends is quite ordinary, it must be done in moderation. After all, teens can become addicted to playing video games, decreasing academic performance, changing behaviors, and lacking peer interaction. At Destinations for Teens, our teen video game addiction treatment program will support your teen in learning how to play their games in moderation.
Teen video game addiction is a reality and can have long-term effects on young adults. According to one study from the American Journal of Psychiatry, an estimated one percent of Americans have a gaming disorder. While this might seem like a low number, it provides a warning as the concept of game addiction is new and has not been fully developed.
However, as parents, there are actions that you can take to support your teen and their development.
Signs Your Teen Is Addicted to Video Games
Gaming is an excellent activity for teens to participate in as long as it happens in moderation. Here are signs that your teen might be addicted to video games.
When your teen exhibits aggressive behavior associated with video games, this is a sign of addiction. When they are told to stop playing or confiscated, and their response is physical or verbal, this is also a sign of video game addiction. In some cases, teens can use strong language when not allowed to play. And some teens can become physically violent after losing a game.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Playing video games long-term can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome is caused by long-term use on computers or gaming systems. Typically, when adults are diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, it results from long-term computer use at work. However, when teens and children get carpal tunnel syndrome, it results from prolonged video game playing. Signs of carpal tunnel syndrome are pain, tingling, and numbness in their hands, fingers, and wrist.
No Friendships Outside of Gaming
A teen addicted to video games has very few real-world friendships. Instead, their relationships are with players they have met online. Since the foundation of these friendships is based on gaming, developing true relationships is very limited. For instance, online gaming friends might live in other towns, states, or countries.
No Interest In Academic Performance and Other Activities
Addicted gamers have no interest in doing anything other than playing video games. As a result, their ability to perform well at school will decrease–after all, when do they have time to do homework or study? In addition, previous extracurricular activities such as sports or community programs are no longer significant. Instead, a teen’s only focus is becoming a stronger video game player and not working toward other goals.
Unable To Stop Playing
A sign of addiction of any kind is using a substance or object to cope with emotion. Another sign of addiction is not being able to quit. Teens often use video games to help them forget about their problems with school, their families, and their peers. When a teen needs to avoid an issue in their lives completely, that is a sign of a problem. And while gaming might make you feel calm or ignore conflicts, they will still be present once the game is present.
If a teen cannot quit playing–needing to play at odd hours of the night–this indicates that addiction is brewing.
Gaming Addiction Treatment Program at Destinations For Teens
If your teen responds aggressively when asked to stop playing video games or has no interest in other activities, they may have a teen video game addiction. Destinations for Teens treatment programs can support the young adult in your life. Contact us by calling 877.466.0620.