Compulsive Internet Use and Gaming
Never before has the Internet been more pervasive. We are surrounded, even submerged, with connectivity. The combination of cutting-edge smartphones, 4G (soon to be 5G) Wi-Fi connectivity, brand name aps and push notifications keep us online more than most care to admit. With this unprecedented connectivity, teenagers and young adults often struggle with an unhealthy need to be on the internet, gaming, posting photos and responding to comments. This behaviour can get in the way of daily life, causing negative and emotional changes, even to the point of spiralling out of control.
Known as Compulsive Internet Use, Internet Addiction, Smartphone Addiction and Gaming Addiction (officially recognised by the World Health Organization as a disorder), these dependencies take hold of the brain much the same way gambling can—by creating an addiction on a behavioural process.
Young people who are struggling with shyness and social anxiety may be predisposed to compulsive internet use and excessive gaming. Activities like multiplayer online role-playing games have no definitive limits or conclusion—making it difficult for some to reduce the time spent engaged in the activity when it becomes a dominant force in their life.
Gaming Addiction Programme
How Do You Know if Your Son has a Problem?
It might be time to seek professional help if, despite your best attempts, your son is unable to cut back on the amount of time he spends online or gaming. There are a number of signs that the time spent on his smartphone, computer or involved in gaming could have become unhealthy. Common signs include:
- Your son has lied to you about how often or the amount of time he spends online or gaming
- He is irritable, restless or anxious when denied the chance to be online or game
- You have been unsuccessful at limiting your son’s time online or gaming
- Your son disappears or leaves the house when you turn the router off at home
- His weight has fluctuated, his nutrition is poor or he skips meals at usual times
- He stays up past 11pm gaming or is unable to get up in the morning
- He spends an increasing amount of time alone, or with online friends, rather than connecting with others in real life
- He neglects homework to play games
- He is losing or has lost interest in subjects/activities he once enjoyed or did well in
- He disregards his personal hygiene
- He lacks personal social interaction
- He tends to live in a fantasy rather than the real world
- He makes promises to you about changing tomorrow or next week
- He makes excuses or claims how all his friends are gaming
- He asks you why you nag him so much
If your son continues to devote more time and effort to being online and playing games rather than developing friendships, spending time with family or enjoying hobbies and personal interests that were at one time very dear to him, it could be time to find the most effective way to reboot his relationship with technology.
What Treatment Is Available?
In treating compulsive gaming and internet use, total abstinence is not the intended goal. At The Edge, we understand that this is a tech-based world and your son needs to develop a healthier relationship with technology in order to have the best possible future in society and the workforce.
At The Edge, we provide holistic treatment on-site at our relaxing, resort-like residential centre. This means offering cognitive behavioural therapy, individual and group therapy, and specific physical activities designed to build confidence, strength and focus. Our professionally accredited counsellors tutor and train participants as they pinpoint and practice new coping mechanisms to help manage their condition. Additionally, your son will be assessed for co-occurring disorders like anxiety and depression, in order to get at the deeper reasons for his excessive reliance on his smartphone, computer or gaming console.
We also use a variety of physical training exercises—of which Muay Thai boxing and triathlon training are required activities—throughout each programme at The Edge. Physical activity is one of the most effective ways of addressing compulsive internet use and gaming. Among the many benefits, it helps to kick-start the production of feel-good endorphins in the brain.
For a more in-depth understanding of how The Edge’s Gaming Addiction Programme is unique and will benefit your son, click the button below.