There is an unfortunate crisis sweeping today’s generation of teenage boys. Having grown up in a digital era that offers them the accessibility and availability of computer games and video games, teen boys are predisposed to addictive behavior. Have a suspicion your teen boy is experiencing video game addiction, unsure what to do next?
This summer the World Health Organization classified “gaming disorder” as a diagnosable condition, and many mental health professionals are beginning to offer treatment and we are seeing more articles with “signs and risks of teenage video addiction.”
In our experience, boys addicted to video games already exhibit other addictive behaviors. We commonly see the use of e-cigarettes and/or smoking, drinking, anger and defiance. If your think your teenage boy is addicted to video games or the Internet, we encourage you to consider all of the behaviors he exhibits. We often work with teen boys with behavioral and psychological issues that go well beyond video game addiction. Video game addiction is just part of the problem. Consider a wilderness program or treatment center that will help your teenage grow and become self-reliant, many programs offer both academics and therapy.
Treatment for Teen Video Game Addiction
Considering treatment for teen video game addiction, here are some of the signs his gaming addiction has become out of control.
- Insomnia and/or Restlessness: Many teen video game addicts stay up into the wee morning hours playing their games in order to hide their addiction from mom and dad. If you’ve noticed your teen boy has been extra lazy and lethargic during the day, he might be suffering from insomnia induced by a video game addiction.
- A Distorted Perception of Time: Getting lost in virtual realities can warp perception of the real world, which is why many video game addicts often times have uncommon schedules, routines and regimens.
- Technology Withdrawals: If your teen becomes agitated or aggravated when he doesn’t have access to video games, this is a sign he needs to be enrolled in a treatment for teen video game addiction at an established teen treatment center.
- Increased Stress and/or Anxiety: Video games have been shown to increase stress and anxiety among teenage boys, which are both symptoms that affect mental health and general well being. You might find that your video game addicted son has become withdrawn and overwhelmed with day-to-day happenings.
Parents Ask: Is Video Game Addiction Real?
In 2019, Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) was included in The Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). This disorder has become more common in teenagers, especially teen boys. Common comorbid conditions include social anxiety and depression. Parents report an increase in hostility and defiance and problems at school.
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Updated: September 20, 2020