Last updated: 02/21/2019
Author: Addictions.com Medical Review
Reading Time: 3 minutes
According to the PubMed Central, there are several video game addiction rehab centers in Holland, Korea, China, and the United States. These care facilities use a combination of treatments to help patients stop problematic levels of gaming and provide aftercare options as well as employ helpful clinicians who can provide the best medical treatment possible.
Rehab Centers and Their Policies
Different rehab centers exist for different types of addictions, but most behavioral addictions require an intense amount of therapy. In some cases, patients may be given medication, but this is not always necessary or beneficial. Rehab centers for video game addictions are helpful to those individuals who need focused treatment for their addictions. They will either be inpatient- or outpatient-based, and an individual can choose the type based on the severity of their condition.
Counseling and Behavioral Therapy
As stated by UK Healthcare, “Treatment for video game and Internet addiction is similar to that of other addictions, but with one important difference. Because computers are an aspect of everyday life, gaming addicts must learn to use computers responsibly” as well as television and gaming systems. At a rehab center, this kind of behavior is taught through counseling and behavioral therapy sessions. Both individual therapy sessions and group counseling are often used in rehab centers to further a patient’s recovery process.
Patients will often learn techniques that allow them to manage their time spent on a computer or gaming system such as
- Using “external stoppers to set personal limits” (UMD)
- Using cards to help remind individuals of when to cut back and why
- Creating a more structured, daily schedule that only allows for a certain amount of gaming time
- Keeping a habit log where the individual must state how long they have been playing
Another part of therapy involves “identifying the motivation for playing.” This may vary from person to person, and many individuals may experience issues with anxiety, depression, boredom, or a need to escape which causes them to keep turning back to video games. Once these motivations are uncovered, they can be addressed in a healthy way that focuses on changing or healing them rather than burying them under hours of gaming.
After treatment has ended, many patients need to be transitioned into an aftercare program. Online Gaming Anonymous is a 12-step group that helps gamers cut back the hours they spend on the computer and focus on the other aspects of their lives. This can help many patients stay on the right track after their rehab program is over.
Patients also must take what they learned in rehab and apply it to their lives, which means they will need to self-monitor their video game use. In many cases, this kind of treatment is extremely beneficial for those who experience intense addiction syndromes of any type. In the case of video game overuse, those who decide to attend rehab can see how it works through therapy, behavioral modification, aftercare transition, and resocialization. Those who play video games obsessively can make the necessary changes in their lives to exhibit better behavior with the help of addiction rehab.