It is a common sight to see children playing with gadgets such as mobile phone, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc. Parents initially feel excited to find the children using the gadgets and the way they are handling. The initial access to gadgets will slowly become their addiction and once the children learn the handling of the instrument, they also learn about many things. They develop a kind of addiction which cannot be replaced with anything. Previous years children use to play outdoors and were interested in outdoor games, nowadays it’s difficult to send them out as they will be busy either playing games or watching cartoons on the television. The addiction is not common just in children but it is equally common in adults. According to a study published in Pew Research, Center 49% of adults are also addicted to games. 88% of youth in America play games and develop addiction on it. There are very few treatment options available for such students.
Consequences of TV and computer game addiction:
Social withdrawal: Children addicted to games are less interested in interacting with family and friends. Their only way of communication is through mobiles. This can have a severe impact on face-to-face interaction and loss of interest in and trust in relation and friendship.
Family tension: The family members’ loose interaction with each other, there will be tension and conflicts as people don’t interact with each other. Parents when they try to control children, they feel their life is being remote controlled, they try to hide their academic performance and hide when they play games. It will be a tough job for the parents of such children to handle the child and highlight the negative impacts on the future life.
Education: As the students spend a lot of time playing games they find it difficult to find time for completing homework, doing projects or preparing of the test. Their only addiction is computer games. There will be decreased academic performance resulting in a low scorecard.Children try to bunk classes to play games worst affecting the academic performance.
Cost: Children force parents to buy them expensive gadgets and games. Certain games require payments to get the tools, service fees, and computer upgrades.
Playing video games either on phone or laptop can cause injury which is referred to as “video gamer’s thumb” and “Nintendinitis”. In recent time we have heard of blue whale challenge, where the last stage of the game was suicide and the addiction was such bad that many children had committed suicide while playing the game.
Treatment of TV and computer game addiction:
According to a study, a high level of dopamine in the brain can be a reason for TV and game addiction. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter which plays an important role in problem-solving, memory, and attention. The levels of dopamine are high while doing pleasurable activities, so it is expected that the dopamine levels will be high with this type of addiction as well putting the individuals at risk of compulsive behavior.
TV And video game addiction is a severe form of addiction whose treatment process is the same as that for other addiction procedures. The students are required to be counseled for behavior modification and counseling about its adverse effect.
Individual therapy of the addicted student with a psychologist can help the student overcome the addiction.
- Individual therapy with a psychologist who specializes in treating computer game addiction or who has experience with addictions in general. There are only a few Computer game addiction specialists, but if your child gets the right psychologist, it will help in overcoming the situation faster. It will be a costly affair for the parents as such specialist fees will be high.
- Family therapy is the best and cost-effective option for your addicted teenager. All the members should work with each other to help the addicted child. A healthy family environment encourages the child to spend some quality time and also learn social etiquettes and manners. The love and affection help the child get diverted from the gadgets.
- Wilderness therapy, the treatment program is scheduled at a center where survival skills, team-building, and self-confidence is boosted. The treatment program will be of minimum thirty days. The students will not be given any access to the video games. There are very few centers which offer such treatment and are quite expensive.
Video game addicts will show withdrawal symptoms in the form of anger, depression, boredom, loneliness, mood swings, and anxiety. It requires lots of efforts to abstain themselves from games. The counselors will determine the treatment required. During the therapy period the students are forced to spend time with the nature and family and avoid contact with the virtual world of electronics and games.
It will be the joint efforts of the counselor and family to help the students get out of the habit of compulsive gamer. The family also needs to address the issues which are drawing the kids towards the obsessive gaming. The aim of the counseling session is to encourage the students towards activities which are healthy for social and psychological growth and positivity.
A behavioral health specialist would be the best guide for you. It is a mental health condition which is requiring more research for the health experts to understand and treat the disorder. Behavioral health specialist utilizes proven methods and techniques which will help the students with video game addiction to fight with depression, anxiety and anger management.
TV and games are good when they are played in moderation. It is a casual way of relaxation to socialize with family and friends. Certain addiction forming games should be restricted or banned for both children and adults. Parents should put efforts to avoid the distraction of students towards the electronic equipment and give them a healthy environment.