Beyond The Screen: Exploring The World Of Treatment For Gaming Addiction

treatment for gaming addiction

It’s not entirely surprising to see how addictive a screen can be when you take a look around the world today. In almost every daily routine there seems to be a glow from a screen with seemingly endless and engaging entertainment. What started as a cool new way to play a game interactively with technology has turned into a billion dollar industry. Gaming online is a way of life and human interaction for a lot of people today, especially after a distancing pandemic. However, this article aims to encourage you or a loved one to look beyond the screen in exploring the world of treatment for gaming addiction. Whether it is your own life or someone else’s, there is a light at the end of the gaming addiction tunnel. Treatment for gaming addiction facilities offer a safe environment that helps clients reconnect within themselves and their real life. Qualified and experienced professionals are often available at every step of the way toward recovery, especially at Omega Recovery. 

What Exactly Is A Gaming Addiction Disorder?

What may have started as an intriguing form of entertainment can eventually turn into a serious problem when it comes to online gaming. But, how can you tell if a loved one is suffering from a serious gaming addiction? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), and as defined in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), a gaming disorder is a pattern of gaming behavior(s). Whether it be digital-gaming or video-gaming- characterized by impaired control over gaming use. Defined behaviors such as an increasing priority given to gaming over more important activities such as work, family, and personal obligations. Including a continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences is also a clear indication that an addiction is present. Gaming Addiction is recognized when gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities responsible for and that were once enjoyed. 

Which is why it may be best to seek an addiction diagnosis from a professional before searching for a treatment gaming addiction center. Technically, for a gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behavior pattern must be evident for at least 12 months. A diagnosis is usually determined when there is a significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. Highlighting the importance of looking beyond the screen, and exploring the world of treatment gaming addiction before a worsened situation. What can be tricky is a self diagnosis, as most individuals plagued with chronic gaming behaviors are unaware of their addiction. If you have concerns about your gaming behavior, take our quiz to see if a professional diagnosis should be sought. 

What Are The Definite Indications Of Needed Treatment Gaming Addiction?

For family and friends, treatment gaming addiction is needed for someone who has checked out of their life. One of the biggest red flags is when someone spends every moment of their free time gaming. Other examples of red flags could be struggles at work, neglected appearance, or a short temper that is easily flared up from anxiety from not gaming. For couples, a partner in need of treatment gaming addiction may show a lack of interest, and intimacy in their relationship. For a parent, an addicted child may seem like a disinterested stranger- easy to anger, and hard to pull back into their daily normal activities. However you or a loved one is experiencing gaming addiction, there is hope for reclaiming a balanced life. When going beyond the screen and exploring the world of treatment gaming addiction you will find supportive resources. Reaching out for treatment for gaming addiction addiction services is a step in the right direction. 

What Could Be The Catalyst In The Rise Of Gaming Addiction?

We live in current times where online gaming is now considered a way to communicate or “socialize” from a safe distance from one another. However, what is most concerning in today’s world is the alarming and growing percentage of children and young adults that spend time online when compared to previous years. One study shows that average daily video game play among kids ages 8 to 18 rose from 26 minutes per day in 1999, to an over quadrupled amount of 110 minutes per day by 2009. That’s not to mention the even higher staggering numbers for boys, 25 percent of whom play video games for four or more hours per day! It’s no wonder then why we all need to look beyond the screen: exploring the world of treatment for gaming addiction. Luxury facilities like Omega Recovery in Austin understand the dangers of gaming addiction and seek to stop the rise of an unhealthy virtual world. 

The accumulating research and statistics just keep getting worse, which is exactly why gaming addiction awareness is so important. According to a 2018 Healthline article, more than 90 percent of American kids play video games. With almost equally high numbers that might be as high as 99 percent of boys, and 94 percent of girls. And it is not just kids enjoying internet or video gaming either, according to the Entertainment Software Association (ESA). Around 58 percent of all Americans play video games, with half of those gamers being aged over 50 years old. Online gaming enjoyment can be experienced at a healthier level when awareness and balance is utilized. However, when gaming enjoyment turns to a need and dependency just to enjoy everyday life, there is a great cause for concern. 

Who Would Be Considered For Internet Treatment For Gaming Addiction?

Although the World Health Organization (WHO) decided to include “gaming disorder” in the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases in mid-2018, it did not at all settle the long-standing debate of its pathological bearings. Researchers still demand discussion whether electronic gaming, which is to be considered gaming online, by video consoles and/or on smartphones, could be addictive enough to be considered pathological. Therefore, the WHO’s decision further ignited the controversy leaving researchers on opposite ends demanding the need of more evidence. Some consider gaming addiction as a manifestation, in the form of a coping mechanism or self-medication of another mental health issue. Mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or other established diagnoses. Although neurobiology research does not clarify this question for some researchers, there is no doubt that gaming addiction is a very real problem that needs to be addressed. And one of the biggest reasons why we need to go beyond the screen in exploring the world of treatment for gaming addiction. 

For gaming addiction sufferers, negative consequences exist in the form of lost status in the game, such as lost points or reduced rankings relative to other players. But in real life, negative consequences include a lost sense of reality, suffering relationships, emotional rollercoasters, trouble or lack of concentration at school for children- and work for adults. In fact, Dr. Yang Wang and his research associates at the Indiana University School of Medicine did brain-imaging research in 2011 that indicated video gaming-induced brain changes. Young adults in his study showed “less activation in certain frontal brain regions following one week of playing violent video games.” These frontal brain regions, associated with executive functioning, are also the same brain regions that are affected by drug addiction. Again, reinforcing the need to go beyond the screen and exploring the world of treatment for gaming addiction for children and young adults especially.

treatment for gaming addiction

Going Beyond The Screen: Exploring The World Of Treatment For Gaming Addiction

When going beyond the screen and exploring the world of treatment for gaming addiction,  services can vary depending on the facility. Treatments for gaming addiction can include; Motivational Interviewing, Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), Peer Recovery Coaching, and Nature Immersion. Benefits that come with an outstanding gaming addiction treatment facility, such as Omega Recovery in Austin, are that they also offer powerful holistic forms of treatment. Nature Immersion opportunities where clients can also experience a potentially life-saving “shift” have proven to be powerful for connection within. Omega Recovery takes a different approach to therapy by removing the clinical setting, and focusing on experiencing change in a more natural setting. All while incorporating genuine support from experienced professionals that understand all to well the addictions of gaming. 

So often, a person struggling with gaming addiction feels lost and devoid of a healthy sense of self or purpose in their lives. But when they can finally begin to re-frame their experiences using the intrinsic power of archetypes such as the “hero’s journey”, they can then begin to understand and re-frame their thoughts. At Omega Recovery we are the leader in treatment for gaming addiction  that uses Myth, Archetype, and “the Hero’s journey” as an intrinsic part of the recovery program. We employ master-level clinicians that are trained to help guide each client through this “Hero’s Journey”. Whether this type of treatment is more intriguing in comparison to traditional forms, all forms of gaming addiction treatment should be considered.

Other Types Of Treatment For Gaming Addiction Used By Recovery Facilities 

Motivational Interviewing (MI): Motivational Interviewing is a collaborative and therapeutic conversation between licensed clinicians and clients that addresses the common problem of ambivalence for change. As defined by William Miller, the creator of Motivational Interviewing, its purpose is to strengthen a person’s own motivation for and commitment to change, in a manner that is consistent with the person’s beliefs and values. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): A very common therapy for individuals struggling with gaming addiction to experience destructive and negative thinking or maladaptive thought patterns. Since our cognition affects our wellbeing, changing harmful thought patterns will help clients recognize their ability to practice alternative ways of thinking. An active therapeutic modality, CBT is present-oriented, problem-focused, and goal-directed.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT): DBT teaches clients how to regulate their emotions to reduce the self-destructive behaviors that derive from extreme, intense emotions. Primarily a skill-building approach, DBT focuses on the development of four key skill sets; Distress Tolerance, Emotion Regulation, Mindfulness (to live in the moment and fully experience emotions), and Interpersonal Effectiveness.

Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MSBR): Developed by Dr. Jon Cabot-Zinn, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction is a sequential method that teaches the individual who is struggling with racing and impulsive thoughts on how to be in the “here and now”. By focusing on the breath or on an object in the room, the client slowly becomes able to collapse their awareness into the present moment. This is especially effective for anyone wanting to go beyond the screen and exploring the world of treatment for gaming addiction. 

Recovery-Oriented Challenge Therapy: Sometimes also called Adventure Therapy or Outdoor Behavioral Health (OBH), this evidence-based technique is centered on an activity or “adventure” in which a clinical professional can actively engage with clients. Examples include group challenges, outdoor activities, ropes courses, games, or other skill-building healing activities. They are designed to help clients identify strengths and skills, build social support, strengthen their sense of focus or control, and address basic recovery issues. These groups also assist with the development of self-care, boundaries, accountability, and trust. In addition, just being outdoors and immersed in nature has itself been proven to be therapeutic for a person stuck in a sedentary and addictive indoor lifestyle. 

The Best Option For Treatment For Gaming Addiction Is Omega Recovery

There is now a dedicated specialized program at Omega Recovery in Austin, TX to effectively treat gaming addiction. Specifically designed by Dr. Kardaras, our Co-CEO and Chief Clinical Officer, who understands all too well the tightening grasp of various technology addictions. Dr. Kardaras is considered one of the world’s leading experts on digital addiction (social media, video games, smart phones, etc.) and gaming treatment. Author of “Glow Kids” (St. Martin’s Press, 2016), his seminal book on the clinical, neurological, and sociological aspects of digital/technology addiction is astounding. Over the past 10 years, Kardaras has worked clinically with hundreds of young people in need of treatment for gaming addiction. People of all ages looking beyond the screen and exploring the world of treatment for gaming addiction. Whether it is yourself, or someone you love, Omega Recovery’s programs are aimed at putting the controller down- and picking your life back up.

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