Gaming addiction is real, and many teens struggle to limit the amount of time playing video games. In some cases, gaming becomes the focus of a person’s life, negatively affecting their physical and mental health as well as their social lives. If you’re wondering how to quit, gaming addiction treatment may be the answer. Contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery for more information about treatment options at 866.300.5275.
Understanding Process Addiction
Gaming addiction falls under the category of process addiction, which is also called behavioral addiction. Process addictions involve the impulse to participate in specific behavior despite adverse consequences. Gambling, shopping, and food addictions fall under the umbrella of process addictions.
Warning signs of gaming addiction include:
- Neglecting friends or other interests and hobbies
- Poor personal hygiene
- Being unable to stick to time limits on gaming
- Becoming anxious, angry, or irritable when unable to play games
- Changes in appetite or sleep patterns related to gaming
- Emotional outbursts if games are prohibited or limited
- Declining school performance or other responsibilities
As with other types of addiction, withdrawal from video game addiction can cause unpleasant symptoms, such as anger, depression, and loneliness. That’s why it’s crucial to have a plan in place when you’re considering how to quit a gaming addiction.
Helping with Addictive Behaviors
If you or your teen is ready to address a gaming problem, the five steps below may help.
1. Set a Strict Time Limit for Daily Play
Experts on children’s health agree that school-aged children should not spend more than two hours each day in front of any screen. Between television, cell phones, homework, and gaming, time can add up quickly. If you’re worried about how much time you or your child spends gaming, start by limiting play to no more than 30 minutes each day. Set the alarm or ask a friend to send you a text to remind you it’s time to do something else.
2. Remove Gaming Devices from Bedroom
Having gaming devices in the bedroom makes it too easy to play whenever you feel like it. In addition, playing before bedtime can result in poor-quality sleep. Keeping the bedroom screen-free will help you control your gaming time and help ensure you feel rested and energized in the morning.
3. Ask Friends and Family for Help
Let your friends and family in your life know you’re concerned about developing a gaming addiction and are trying to cut back. If that seems too personal, just let people know you’re interested in doing more social activities. Set up a time to hang out with friends, go for hikes or bike rides, or attend school events.
4. Try Other Stress-Relieving Activities
Gaming relieves stress for many people. Developing other coping strategies will make it easier to limit game time. Learn how to meditate or do yoga. Try working out or go for a challenging hike. Creative expression is also a stress-buster. Draw, paint, write, play music or enjoy any other screen-free hobby.
5. Seek Gaming Addiction Treatment
If you’ve tried the above suggestions and still find it difficult to control your behavior, you may need help from trained mental health professionals. At Foothills at Red Oak Recovery, we tailor our services to the needs of boys struggling with gaming addiction. Treatments at our center include:
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Adventure therapy
- Equine-assisted therapy
- Wilderness therapy
Getting help for gaming addiction as soon as possible can prevent it from taking over your or your teen’s life. If you notice any of the warning signs in your child, don’t hesitate to seek help.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery Understands Gaming Addiction
Children with gaming addiction may be at higher risk of developing other mental and physical health disorders. Call us today to learn more about how gaming addiction treatment can help your child stay healthy 866.300.5275.