Are you worried that your child may be addicted to video games?  Can video games truly become an addiction?  Should you seek help on behalf of your child if you suspect that he or she is addicted?

Absolutely, on all counts.  Games can become an addiction.  It’s known as a clinical impulse control disorder, and it’s the same as compulsive gambling.  So as a concerned parent, don’t just dismiss it as a phase – rather begin to observe and document your child’s behavior.

What to look for:

According to the experts the majority of video game addicts are male and under the age of 30.  They are often children with poor self esteem and social problems.  They also tend to be intelligent and imaginative, but don’t have a lot of friends.  A family history of addiction may also contribute.

Spending a lot of time playing video games doesn’t necessarily mean that your child is addicted, but here are some things to look out for:

  • Playing for longer amounts of time, late into the night, missing meals
  • Playing secretly and lying to friends and family about it
  • Feeling irritable when not allowed to play
  • Thinking excessively about playing
  • Gaming to escape from problems
  • Gaming when anxious or depressed
  • Giving up other interests or hobbies and becoming increasingly isolated

As with other addictions the person begins to crave more and more of the substance or behavior, and if he doesn’t get it he becomes increasingly irritable and upset.

How harmful is a video game addiction?

It may seem like a relatively harmless addiction especially when compared to drugs.  But a video game addiction can ruin a child’s life.  Playing for several hours a day will leave no time for socializing or getting involved in other activities such as sports.  It detracts from normal social development and it can jeopardize relationships as well as school or work.

How to treat a video game addiction:

Simply taking away your child’s computer may aggravate the problem.  Some children may experience severe withdrawal symptoms and will become angry, violent, or depressed.  Trying to limit playing time to only an hour a day will be similarly unsuccessful.

Also because computers are such a big part of everybody’s life nowadays it would be practically impossible for anyone to avoid computers completely.  The video game addict has to learn how to use computers responsibly and the easiest way to learn this is through hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy and video game addiction:

In a few short sessions I can help your child build greater self confidence and self-esteem through hypnosis for video game addiction.  I can help provide simple but effective self-help tools to allow your child to take charge of his own recovery and reduce the need to play.  I can also help resolve any underlying problems that may be aggravating the problem.

If you or someone you love is in the grip of this or any other addiction, please call me for a free hypnotherapy consultation.