It is a common sight to see children playing with video game on gadgets such as mobile phone, tablets, laptops, desktops, etc. Parents initially feel excited to see their children handling gadgets with ease. Early access to gadgets will slowly become their addiction and once the children learn the handling of the technology, the way to learn other things opens up. They develop a kind of addiction which cannot be replaced with anything. Nowadays it’s difficult to send children out as they are busy either playing video games or watching cartoons on the TV. 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 video games and develop addiction for it.
TV and Video Games Addiction Symptoms:
Children addicted to video 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 personal relationships with loss of interest and trust in relation and friendship. With no face-to-face interaction there is emotional isolation and may later risk mental health issues.
Poor Family Relation:
The family members’ lose interaction with the member who is always into video games and tv. There will be tension and conflicts because of low interaction. Children start feeling their life is being remote controlled because of parents’ rebukes and supervision. They may try to hide when they play games. They may also try to hide their bad academic performance. It is a tough job for the parents of such children to handle the child.
Negative Effects of Video Games on Education:
As the students spend a lot of time playing video games or watching TV they procrastinate doing other important tasks. It becomes difficult for them to find time to complete homework, do projects or prepare for tests. Their only interest is video games. There will be decreased academic performance resulting in a low scorecard. Worst case scenario – Children may even try to bunk classes to play video games.
Cost of Video Games on Household Budget:
Children force parents to buy them expensive gadgets and video games. Certain games require payments to get the tools, service fees, and computer upgrades. De-addiction and Rehab of addicts is also expensive. 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 so bad that many children have committed suicide while playing the game.
Treatment of TV and Video Games Addiction:
According to a study, TV and video games increase the levels of dopamine in the brain. 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 dopamine levels are high while playing video games or watching TV putting individuals at risk of compulsive behavior.
TV And video games 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 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’s fees will be high.
- Family therapy is the best and cost-effective option for an 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 etiquette and manners. 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 gaming. 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 video 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.