In 2018, the World Health Organization recognized “gaming disorder” in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases. Gaming is a fun way to relax, but studies estimate 1-3% of gamers are at risk of developing unhealthy habits around games. At Family Addiction Specialist in Brooklyn and Manhattan, in New York City, Lin Anderson, LMHC, MA, EdM, and Aaron Sternlicht, LMHC, CASAC, regularly work with men, women, and adolescents struggling with gaming addiction. If you’re concerned about the role video games are having on you or your child’s life, request a gaming recovery appointment by calling their Brooklyn or Manhattan office today.
No. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying video games. Lin and Aaron believe that gaming provides a great outlet for stress and creativity. In addition, research suggests playing video games can improve coordination, memory, and attention.
Video games also enhance brain speed, assist in problem-solving and multitasking skills, and provide a social outlet for millions of people all over the world. Furthermore, gaming is now a multibillion-dollar industry where passionate gamers of all ages can build a career.
However, gaming for extended periods of time or neglecting personal responsibilities as a result of gaming can negatively impact your work and family relationships and overall quality of life.
A good video game keeps players engaged. To do this, developers build rewards, hidden features, and side quests into games. Whenever you complete a level, beat a boss, or unlock a new power, your brain receives a boost of dopamine.
Long periods of gaming cause your neural pathways to crave these chemical changes, affecting you on a subconscious level. Many gamers find themselves playing for hours or even days at a time, neglecting meals, and work or family responsibilities.
Gaming is also addictive from a social standpoint. Much of today’s gaming takes place online allowing players from all over the world to connect and spend time with each other. Unfortunately, this easy access to technology is also incredibly addictive.
The symptoms of gaming addiction vary from person to person. However, common telltale signs include:
It’s also common for people suffering from gaming addiction to neglect personal hygiene like brushing and flossing their teeth or showering regularly.
Lin and Aaron offer gaming recovery with a holistic, whole family approach.
At your initial consultation, they will review your medical history and ask you about the symptoms you’re experiencing. After taking all of this information into account, they formulate a treatment plan that aligns with your individual needs.
Some of the disciplines Lin and Aaron incorporate into therapy include:
The team also incorporates healthy lifestyle changes to promote wellness. For example, if you’re worried about spending too much time gaming, Lin and Aaron may recommend eating a nutritious, well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting plenty of sleep.
If you play video games to relieve anxiety or escape daily stresses, Lin and Aaron can help you better understand the source of your negative emotions. They can also provide you with strategies that help you cope with specific challenges.
For children and teenagers suffering from gaming addiction, Lin and Aaron may recommend family coaching or counseling. Parents and siblings play an important role in easing cravings and helping break the cycle of addiction.
Don’t let video games prevent you from living your best life. Request your consultation at Family Addiction Specialist by calling their Brooklyn or Manhattan office today.