Tuesday, September 25, 2012
I've created a "Teen Video Game Addiction Workbook"
Below is an excerpt from a workbook I recently completed for video game addicted teens to use (in therapy). If you are interested in a copy, please feel free to contact me @email@example.com or call 855-735-HELP.
Can video gaming really become an addiction? Although video game addiction is not yet an “official” diagnosis recognized by psychologists and psychiatrists, it is clear that children, teens, and adults can develop an addiction to gaming and to the internet.
Some teens develop a constant craving or desire to play video games, while also experiencing what is referred to as tolerance. Tolerance means that the gamer needs to spend increasing amounts of time gaming in order to feel excitement and satisfaction. It is very common for gamers to tell me: “In the early days of gaming, I only needed 1 to 2 hours to feel satisfied. Now I play games for more than 5 to 6 hours in order to have fun.”
Gamers also experience withdrawal symptoms. Here, withdrawal refers to the gamers feeling anxiety, anger, tension, irritability, and/or depression when they are not engaged in gaming (e.g., when at school or when spending time with family).
Finally, just as is the case with drug addiction, gamers experience persistent negative consequences. Negative consequences may include conflict with family, loss of friendships, neglect of school work, neglect of chores, reduction in physical activity, fatigue, and overall poor health.
Gamers are also similar to people addicted to drugs and alcohol because they can see the negative consequences of their addiction, but are unable to successfully change their behavior. In extreme cases, as has been reported in the media, some gamers have played to the point they experienced serious medical problems resulting in hospitalization and death.
Have you ever experienced craving? Yes/No/Unsure
Have you ever experienced tolerance? Yes/No/Unsure
Have you ever experienced withdrawal? Yes/No/Unsure
Have you ever experienced negative consequences related to you gaming? Yes/No/Unsure
Have you ever tried to stop gaming, but couldn’t control your behavior? Yes/No/Unsure