Last updated: 09/14/2018
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
Unless a person is strung out on drugs or alcohol, entering a treatment center to receive video game addiction help may seem a bit over the top considering the circumstances. The truth of the matter is video game addictions can potentially ruin a person’s life when left unchecked and untreated. Choosing between residential treatment and outpatient treatment marks the first step towards finding the type of video game addiction help a person needs.
Video Game Addictions
Much like the behavior seen in people with gambling addictions, video game addictions center on an activity as opposed to a substance addiction where drugs and/or alcohol drive behavior. Activity-based addictions stem from impulse-control problems and so fall under an impulse control disorder classification.
While there is still some debate as to whether video gaming qualifies as an addiction, video game addicts exhibit the same compulsive behaviors as alcoholics and drug addicts, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Some of these behaviors include:
- A preoccupation with engaging in a pursuit
- Changes in mood and/or personality
- An inability to control the amount of time spent in a pursuit
- Experiencing symptoms of withdrawal when unable to engage in a pursuit
- Spending increasing amounts of time in a pursuit in order to experience the same desired effects
- Ongoing engagement in a pursuit in spite of the problems it causes in other life areas
- Spending less and less time with others
- Jeopardizing school, work and/or family obligations
With so many similarities between substance-based and activity-based addictions, video game addiction help closely resembles the types of treatment offered by substance addiction programs. Depending on the extent of the addiction, video game addiction help provides various levels of treatment to address the issues driving a person’s addiction.
Much like the treatment approaches used with alcohol and drug addictions, video game addiction help can take the form of residential or outpatient treatment. Choosing one form of treatment over the other depends on the extent of a person’s addiction. Someone who’s lost touch with family, friends and work responsibilities may very well require the close monitoring and 24-hour care provided by residential inpatient treatment centers.
Since there are no drug effects to contend with, residential-based video game addiction help focuses on counseling and behavior modification treatment. Through these programs, a person gains an understanding of how playing video games has become a way of coping with everyday life. In the process, participants learn new more healthy coping behaviors to help them better manage their lives without the need for playing video games.
Outpatient-based video game addiction help offers pretty much the same types of treatment as inpatient centers except participants live at their own residence instead of at the treatment facility. Someone at the early stages of addiction or someone with existing family and work obligations may benefit from outpatient-based video game addiction help.
Outpatient-based video game addiction help can also offer long-term treatment in the form of support group work. Support groups, such as Online Gamers Anonymous offers peer support and guidance from people going through the same challenges and obstacles.