Glenn Wolff of Wolff Psychotherapy recently had a patient come see him for a serious addiction. This addiction was not for drugs or alcohol but video games. The patient was a 16 year old boy whose parents were deeply concerned about him, as he would sit home all day and do nothing but play video games, at the expense of everything else important in his life; personal relationships, school, and even such basic necessities as eating and sleeping. The child showed a desire to change but felt he had no control over his addiction, and it appeared to have taken over his life. Throughout his sessions with the child, Glenn Wolff addressed the root of his addiction and was eventually able to put an end to it by creating certain enforceable rules and boundaries that slowly separated him from the virtual world that he was so comfortable with and reintroduced him to the real world that he is now an active member of.
There are countless people like this patient who are so addicted to the virtual world that video games present to them that it takes over every aspect of their lives. This may be for a number of reasons. One is that it allows them to find refuge and an escape from their everyday problems and stresses in the real world by entering into an alternate reality where they can become someone else and live an alternative life. If they feel powerless and timid in their real lives, video games can be an outlet for them to let out their aggression and maintain a sense of control, with no real life consequences attached. Video games also have an addictive quality by offering rewards to players only occasionally, causing them to not want to stop playing until they achieve a certain task. Similar to other addictions, video games offer an instant gratification. The more one plays, the more he becomes addicted to the point where it is never enough.
A major negative consequence this can have is that one may start to completely neglect his personal relationships, in effect cutting himself off from the outside world. This can seriously hinder the development of his social skills and the ability to maintain healthy relationships in the future, which would only enforce his desire to return back to the virtual world where he can feel safe and in control. Another negative repercussion of video game addiction is the effect it has on one’s overall mindset and well-being. It is common that once one stops playing, he may experience withdrawal and become irritable or depressed. Video game addiction has been linked to such mental health disorders as anxiety, depression, and ADHD. Addiction can also cause one to neglect one’s most basic drives, such as hunger or sleep.
One reason why it is so difficult to give up an addiction to video games is because how do you give up something that takes up every moment of your life? The addicted must find ways to fill up what would be empty space in his life with new activities. It is best if these activities are outside of the child’s normal environment, while also helping him develop social skills and healthier interests.
If you or anyone you know is experiencing an addiction to video games, contact Glenn Wolff, and, like the patient described above, he will treat your addiction so that that you can regain control of your life.
Glenn Wolff is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing psychotherapy and counseling services to children, adolescents, adults, and families, with a special interest and expertise in the treatment of adolescents and young adults. The modes of treatment include individual therapy, group therapy for children and teens and group therapy for adults.
Contact Glenn Wolff at Wolff Psychotherapy, at 203 249 3313 for a complimentary phone consultation to discuss your concerns and determine if working together will be helpful for you. Or you can visit our website at http://wolffpsychotherapy.com.