Most people enjoy video games today, but some succumb to video game addiction. It is a fast-growing class of addiction. People who are playing video games should be wary of their gaming time and habits because it may lead to obsession that calls for help. If you feel your child is obsessed with playing video games, addiction help is available. Here is how you can help your son combat his addiction:
Recognize the Addiction
First, you need to recognize if your child is addicted to a video game. The following are some symptoms of video game addiction:
- Excessive playing, like more than five hours a day
- Thinking about the game when not playing it
- Get frustrated, anxious or depressed when he cannot play the game in a day
- Lack of sleep because of video gaming
- Miss out on school, work, family or social activity because he is putting more time into video gaming
- Spending real money to purchase in-game items
If you answered yes to any of these, your child is a video game addict and you are in for a revelation.
Don't be dismayed. It may hurt to be tagged as an addict, but in order to seek help for an addiction, one must be able to recognize and acknowledge such problem in order for a solution to be found. Now that the addiction is recognized, then help should be sought as soon as possible.
One way is to seek help of a psychotherapist. Customized treatment is given to the addict that will help him to overcome such addiction, though therapists of this kind are rare to find and may cost a lot to the individual as treatment may require a number of sessions.
Make him stop playing for a period of time. Send him on a retreat or to camp that will keep him away from playing the game. There are treatment centers or wilderness camps that focus on treating addiction, which can also aid you on behavioral issues.
Use the time he spends on gaming to encourage an activity. Find a new hobby he enjoys such as a sport or drama. You can also use such time to make him socialize with other people or better yet, your family. Teach him to communicate with those in his life.
Relearn the use of the computer. Let him use it only when necessary. If needed, uninstall the games so he won't be tempted to play again. If you can, throw away the installation CD or find someone who can keep it away from you.
Video game addiction, or any addiction for that matter, can be treated as long as the person with the problem is willing to be treated. You can be abetted by the people around you especially those closest to you. There is nothing more compelling than making a change with your family, supporting and accepting your child and allowing him to be a stronger and better person.