Video Game Addiction Program Treatment Center
Video gamers who spend ten hours a day in their virtual world, stop showering, eat only junk food, lose jobs or drop out of school are exhibiting pathological behavior. Video game addiction leads to negative consequences just like any other addiction. When they play, video gamers’ brains produce endorphins, giving them a high similar to that experienced by drug users. And since many gamers play via computer, this addiction can be like an eating disorder in that a person has to learn to deal with food and a gaming addict has to learn to use the computer for school or work. One client shared: “I would quit for a few days, but all of my friends were gamers and it was too hard to stay away when all of my friends were still playing. I had to realize that my gaming was getting really weird and I needed help to stop, and stay stopped.”
At Morningside, video game addicts not only get the necessary break from the compulsive behavior, but begin to receive treatment building the skills necessary for personal growth. For example, clients addicted to virtual reality games usually need to develop interpersonal communication skills. Dealing with people face to face in group therapy is a big part of recovery for clients who have spent all of their time interacting in a virtual world. This shyness or social awkwardness is a key feature of the disease.
An addiction to video games can be overcome in treatment through experiential therapies. Morningside’s extensive selection of activities builds social confidence and helps gamers see how their addiction was an attempt to escape personal problems and the underlying mental-health conditions. Obsessive and compulsive gaming is often particularly appealing to socially maladjusted young-adult males, who “get high off” the control aspects of virtual reality. Unlike genuine social interactions that require give and take, gamers can “master” a particular environment by completing certain steps or levels. When compared to the ambiguous rules of, say, teen dating, it’s easy to see why the virtual world is so appealing. Moreover, in most online worlds, there’s no emotional commitment or risk when the other person is on the other side of the globe. Thus, the world-class therapy at Morningside Recovery provides direction for changing behaviors. This video game addiction treatment provides the needed social and communication skills for the path to healing and wholeness.
Abstinence from video games helps clients reconnect with their mind and body. One client shared: “I was playing so much that I didn’t even bother to brush my teeth. I didn’t care if I had bad breath because I was only facing my computer. Now I see my computer as just another machine in my life and I feel a lot more comfortable around real people. I’m still getting my MIS degree because tech is my passion, but I’ve learned that real happiness only comes when you learn to deal with people.” Morningside’s therapists help video-game addicts slowly reconnect to computers and the Internet as a part of their recovery. Trusted advisors monitor use and set clear boundaries. Like other addictions — process addictions, sexual addiction, and eating disorders — video game addicts need to learn healthy behaviors in order to use computers for work and in healthy ways.