It is similar to drug or alcohol addiction in that addicted gamers
often try to escape problems in their lives by playing deeply engrossing video games that provide them with a
sense of power and control.
Often those people addicted to gaming experience deteriorating relationships, sleep deprivation, mental
disorders and in some cases can lead to substance abuse or even substance addiction.
At Home Treatment Plan for Game Addiction
We offer 4-week intensive virtual program:
Online and At Your Own Pace
A Virtual Circle of Care Team Supporting Your Recovery
12 Individual Therapy Sessions
Specialized Group Therapy
3 Family Therapy
4 Partner Support Therapy
Accountability / Mentor Support
24-Month Continuation of Care
A New Alternative to Residential Treatment. And yes, it works.
Many people have misinformed beliefs and thoughts about video games.
There is a whole population that believes that video games are a waste of time and money and are a cause of
violence, sexism and creates a lack of social life among young people.
Other people believe that video games can be a great addition for educational purposes if used appropriately.
Realistically, both opinions are valid to a certain extent. It all depends on the video game player’s attitude,
time spent gaming and overall perspective with gaming.
Diagnosing Yourself for Video Game Disorder
If you are considering whether you might have a problem, trying to make an honest appraisal of your relationship
with video games could be revealing.
Unlike drugs or other substance addictions, you may not be able to identify this gaming addiction.
Are you simply an enthusiast, or have you arrived at a point of dependence? Can you be comfortably separated from
your gaming for days at a time, or would this be problematic?
The recognition of the internet gaming disorder will hopefully allow people to engage with these kinds of
concerns over their validity.
Effects of Gaming Disorder
Video game disorder can create or exacerbate other mental health issues.
Note that someone who spends days at a time playing video games may be vulnerable to depression and anxiety when
they are separated from their games and experience withdrawal symptoms.
There is also the issue of video game dependence becoming linked with other problems, adding further complexity
to the dependency and negatively affect their life.
Any two addictions can become paired with each other. A common example is coffee and cigarettes.
The same could certainly happen with video gaming and other behaviours.
Let’s say whenever the person is playing games, they’re always eating a particular food. They’ll start to link
those two things together. So the pairing can further increase the impact the disorder can have on
someone’s life and possibly lead to an addiction.
Symptoms of Video Game Addiction
There are many telling signs that you may notice when developing a video gaming addiction. Some of the signs
The uncontrollable urge to spend more time gaming
Unsuccessfully reducing the amount of time spent gaming
The inability to stop when you need to
Losing interest in other activities that you may have found joy in previously
Continuing gaming even though there are negative consequences
Using gaming as a way to relieve negative moods, stress or guilt
Experiencing withdrawal symptoms when stopped playing
Influence of Video Game Disorder on Social Skills
These games offer a chemical reward, similar to that elicited through drug use, while giving users an attractive
escape to become fully immersed in a virtual world that they can command.
The sense of power, accomplishment and self-worth are highly addictive to users of all ages, but especially
socially maladjusted teenagers, most often boys, who withdraw from society and into the gaming world as a form of
Adults may also play video games for an escape into a virtual space where they can immerse themselves while
avoiding their current priorities. This also means possibly neglecting current relationships and their social
Other Effects of Video Game Addiction
Alongside the many mental health risks with video game addiction, there are some physical negative effects of long-term gaming.
Negative effects include; carpal tunnel syndrome caused by overuse of a controller or computer mouse, fatigue due to sleep deprivation and poor performance in other facts of life because video gaming is consuming your time.
Younger addicts can miss out on critical education and personal development by long-term gaming. However, adults tend to experience deteriorating relationships and problems maintaining work obligations due to this gaming addiction.
Preventing a Gaming Addiction
In order to try and prevent gaming addiction, try some of the tips we have listed below.
1. Try setting a time constraint while gaming: This could be just setting up a timer so that you hold yourself accountable for the amount of time gaming you spend each day so that you can prevent addiction.
2. Keep all game devices away from you before bed: Try to avoid any screen and game time before bed so you don’t play at night. You can also ask your family members to keep them for you so they are not easily accessible.
3. Try doing something else: There are many activities that can be done instead of gaming that can still be enjoyable and not have the same negative effects or encourage an addiction.
4. Be cognizant of warning signs: Notice if you are always itching to play or can’t go a day without playing video games. These warning signs may tell you that you are becoming addicted to video games and that you need to stop.
When Gaming Becomes an Addiction
Gaming becomes an addiction when those who are going through can’t stop gaming and it begins to get in the way with other activities, schoolwork, professional commitments or family events. There has also been debate about gaming addiction creating dependency on other drugs and substances.
How to Ultimately Stop a Gaming Addiction?
If you notice that gaming is negatively affecting your mental health and there are some warning signs of addiction in the early stages try some of these tips below to mitigate them.
1. Quit gaming instantly: This may be difficult to cut out especially cold turkey and you may experience withdrawal symptoms. It is important to realize that it is no easy feat to completely quit something so remember to be kind to yourself if you are having a difficult time and choose goals that are reasonable.
2. Slowly ween off of playing video games: If quitting cold turkey is difficult try to slowly decrease the amount of time spent gaming. Video game addictions can have immense long-term negative consequences so it is important to decrease time spent gaming when you do begin to notice your gaming addiction.
3. Find an alternative hobby: Being part of the fantasy world can seem exciting and incomparable. However, if you are noticing the negative consequences that gaming addiction has then it is important to find a more healthy hobby such as playing a sport, painting, playing an instrument or anything that interests you.
Gaming addiction is very real and oftentimes gaming takes precedence for those addicted to it.
If you find yourself unable to stop compulsive gaming then there are many treatment options that you can explore.
If you or someone you know is experiencing video game addiction and/ or has many unsuccessful attempts in trying to quit gaming please contact us to enter treatment.
Video Game Addiction Disorder Treatment
Our addiction rehab centres treat the serious nature of
gaming addiction with the utmost care and compassion, providing a safe and relaxing environment to assist with
treatment. By personalizing the treatment
options, we learn the intricacies of your condition to help you reach your recovery goals and sustaining a
healthy, balanced lifestyle.
Trafalgar offers residential treatment (also referred to as inpatient treatment) for gaming addiction and co-occurring psychological disorders at
our residential addiction
treatment centres. While at our care in our inpatient facilities in Ontario, you will receive a personalized treatment program for gaming
addiction specific to your personal needs.
For those unable to attend our residential treatment programs, Trafalgar offers intensive outpatient addiction
treatment as an effective alternative to residential rehabilitation for gaming addiction.
Our outpatient centre offers 4-week or
6-week intensive treatment that will address all your addiction issues as well as any concurrent disorders.
As part of Trafalgar’s video game addiction treatment program, we offer
aftercare services to make sure that upon graduation of the client, any relapse will be prevented through
our aftercare, ContinUCare and Continuation of
Some may think that if they have made it through a video game addiction rehab
program then their problems are over. Completing a video game addiction treatment program is a great
accomplishment, but it is only the beginning of the recovery journey. Aftercare is especially important during
the first few years of recovery.
Aftercare participation is a chance to interact with other clients who also struggle
with addiction, practice social skills and identify relapse triggers. Our Aftercare Groups enable you to have an
opportunity to check in and receive constructive feedback from fellow addicts on how you are progressing. Group therapy have proven to help with recovery and sustained recovery.
ContinUCare enables the client and their Trafalgar care team to monitor progress on
the journey to recovery and potentially identify and address areas of concern before they escalate into serious
problems. It is like having your care team constantly watching out for you and there to provide help if needed. Just one of our very powerful treatment tools to be used for your recovery journey.
Continuation of Care
Clients will schedule a call with the Continuation of Care Counsellor during the first week
after discharge. Addiction counselling calls will continue biweekly for a period of four months. After the 4 month
period, it will be followed by monthly calls for the following 20 months. Clients can
arrange calls to suit their schedules within regular business hours. These counselling calls will provide an
excellent way of tracking progress and discussing any issues that may arise.
Meet Our Renowned Experts
You will receive gaming addiction treatment from the very best. We
have a team of
accredited professionals who have many years of clinical and research
Dr. Christine Courbasson
Clinical Psychologist & Senior Clinical Advisor
Nathaniel Israel, MA, RP
Clinical Director, Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program