Your child may be losing weight or gaining weight.
They may have failed or never attended school.
Your child is frustrated when the game doesn’t go their way and spends hours at night yelling and yelling at the screen. Or they laugh and participate in toxic and sometimes misogynistic chat rooms. Hear them say things that will actually shock you!!
Their poor or non-existent sleep schedule is close to that of those who are tortured, with heavy bags under their eyes, exhibiting extreme irritability and conflict, and suffering from chronic fatigue.
They no longer groom themselves regularly and spend days in the same foul-smelling clothes.
For all intents and purposes, your child is miserable, unhealthy, and looks like a shell of what you once were.
Yet, they say, playing games online for hours is the only way they can feel happy and socially connected, and the only activity they believe they are good at.
The denial of gaming addiction by compulsive users is prevalent in most families who ask me for help.
As a coach, one of the most common questions I hear from caregivers is, “How do I get my child to understand and accept that he or she has an addiction?”
It’s important to ask the “why” of your gaming addiction first.
Does your child play games to escape, avoid, or deal with emotional conflict?
Do you play games for a sense of accomplishment because your non-gaming academic, social, and/or family life isn’t working out?
The sixth of nine signs of gaming addiction is excessive gaming despite awareness of psychosocial problems. Individuals continue to play despite the negative impact.
Disorderly and compulsive gamers are stuck in the precontemplation stage of addiction. This stage is a time when addicts have little or no regard for what they believe to be a problem. The idea that they have a “problem” is not even on their radar. In fact, their denial creates a sense of security in them.
What is needed at this stage is to recognize the need to realize their addiction. Their support system encourages them to imagine the possibilities of change.
My son Jake believed that playing video games temporarily relieved his anxiety and fear. And he didn’t think this obsessive engagement would make him any more nervous.
But playing the game for hours without addressing his dilemma only exacerbated the problem.
Chronic gaming has left Jake stuck in a bubble of denial.
While he didn’t have to think about his anxiety while having fun in the virtual world, the act of playing the game for up to 16 hours at a time, with few breaks in between, certainly created more pain. .
He sat in the same position for hours. He ate very little food, drank very little water, and was battling his on-screen avatar to get the highest possible score. That alone puts his adrenal, nervous system, and brain chemicals into overdrive. His body will definitely feel the increased stress.
The difference was that every time he succeeded in a game, the dopamine levels in his brain rose and he was also elated because he felt better.
So he had a choice. Either sit still in his emotional pain and terrifying thoughts, or turn on the computer and sit in a high-speed, thrill-seeking video game until you pass out from exhaustion. It was his two times that he was able to paralyze Chaos. He played video games for hours, then he fell asleep and the pattern repeated.
It’s easy to see why it’s hard to get compulsive gamers to realize that their choice of coping strategy for pain is a very unhealthy choice. Working on difficult school problems was working at the moment, so there was no reason to stop.
I asked him more about this. It was to help me understand how the brains of addicts compartmentalize their distressing mental health problems with a strong desire to escape to more games.
“What do you do when you realize things aren’t going your way in college, when you’ve had a rough first and second semester, and when you come home that summer with a problem you don’t want to see? What was your mental process as to why you didn’t ask for help or share it, but kept it to yourself and continued playing video games instead?”
I really appreciate Jake’s candid reply.
“There are probably several pieces to it. My self-esteem was built entirely on what other people said about me, as opposed to what I found in myself. If I made it clear, it meant I failed, and I couldn’t accept it, and that was one of the factors that really pushed a lot of my decisions. I felt the need to hide, hide the bad things, etc. I needed to make sure I kept those secrets to myself.
The other part was that if it became clear that there was a problem, the situation would have to change.And change was a very scary concept. The idea of changing to quit playing video games was scary. That was the addiction I was talking about in the back of my head. “I don’t want to stop playing video games.” was If I change it, if I remove those elements, will I still have that happiness? “Maybe not,” my brain said, and my anxiety screamed, “It’s not okay, so don’t change.” If you can avoid it as much as possible, avoid it because it’s safe. ”
This example is why it’s so hard to show that playing video games to the detriment of your health is a form of addiction. In the premeditative phase of addiction, survival replaces awareness of unhealthy addiction and refusal to see it as a problem.
If this manifestation of addiction is evident, i.e., if there is a belief that one cannot live without the addictive behavior, the discomfort that a child may endure or run away from while playing video games for hours. It is important to investigate the cause of
And sometimes we have to take a closer look at the house.
It is important to look at your own relationships with children and/or relationships between siblings. Do you want to be with your family when you feel like you’re not keeping them in?
Finding activities in your home to escape the constant stress may seem more appealing. not.
You may also want to talk to the teacher or ask questions about your child’s behavior at school.
Do they participate in classrooms?
Are they having trouble making friends? Is bullying at school or online a problem? Is it possible your child has gender confusion?
Are your kids absent from school to play video games? Do they complain of headaches, stomachaches, or just feel sick to get out of school, travel, sports, clubs, or family activities? mosquito?
Need to see your doctor to help you deal with your depression and anxiety? Now is the time to turn all the stones upside down and consider all possibilities.
Look for the “why”.
Talking about your child’s addiction behavior as a problem rather than an addiction can lead to a more open discussion. . They may feel threatened by the thought of never having the chance to play a video game again.
But discussing where compulsions become a problem in a child’s life may at least help open the door for conversations about spending less time playing video games.
Jake has denied the concept of addiction. Because for him addiction meant completely and permanently abandoning the game, which to him was an absolutely terrifying concept. Denial equals safety, even if his addiction did nothing but keep him emotionally or physically safe.
But by digging deeper into my underlying issues with family support and a therapist, I was finally able to see where gaming was getting in the way of achieving my college degree goals.
Not all situations require a complete detox.
Gaming could be scaled back and regulated while gamers tackle the underlying problem manifesting as addiction.
Understanding what the best approach and strategy is is important, and therapy or coaching may be beneficial here.
The support you can find will help keep gamers out of denial and in the process toward recovery.