It can be really tough to see your teenager struggling with a video game addiction. You may feel like you're powerless to do anything about it, but there are actually some things you can do to help. Video game addiction can have serious consequences for your teenager's physical and mental health, as well as their social life and academics. It's important to take action if you think your teen might be addicted to video games.
When we lose control over video games
Video game addiction, also known as gaming disorder, is a pattern of problematic gaming behavior that is characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.
There are a few key warning signs that may indicate your teenager has a video game addiction:
Preoccupation with games – thinking about games all the time or feeling restless when not playing
Giving up other activities – skipping school, work, or social events in order to play games
Losing control – being unable to limit playing time; feeling irritable when trying to cut down or stop playing
How apps can help people addicted to video games
Among the tools to consider to combat a video game addiction, some apps can constitute a good way to help your teen. Whether it's to monitor and track your teen's gaming time or to access tips on how to cut down on gaming, many apps can provide support to help your teen fight their addiction.
Among the features offered by some apps, we find:
Diagnostic tools to use if you suspect a video game addiction
Gaming time tracking
Access to educational content about video game addiction and its negative health consequences
Use of a journal to write down your daily feelings and have access to meditation and mindfulness content
Here are some examples of apps that can help
Video Game Addiction Test is an app you can use if you suspect that your teen is addicted to video games. By interpreting the answers provided to certain questions, the app can help you measure the level of addiction by calculating a score. In addition, it provides a list of local resources and services available to help you with video game addiction. Although this tool does not replace the clinical judgment of a professional, it can still be used to help you determine if you should seek professional help.
Shift - Addiction Recovery is an app that can help you have positive, soothing and comforting thoughts to get rid of addictive and destructive thoughts. The app allows you to select images that inspire you and to visualize them when you have a negative or addictive thought. Also, you can use a diary to document your feelings and have access to a meditation timer.
Gaming Addiction Advice is an app that offers a variety of tips to combat video game addiction. This app reminds you of reasons why you should reduce your video game use, as well as ways to do so.
Several factors can lead to addiction
There isn't one specific cause of video game addiction. It's often a combination of factors that contribute to the development of an addiction. Some teenagers are more at risk for developing an addiction than others. Risk factors for video game addiction include:
Having another addictive disorder, such as a substance abuse disorder or gambling disorder
Suffering from anxiety, depression, or other mental health disorders
Being isolated or having poor social skills
Video game addiction is often a way for teenagers to cope with underlying issues in their life. The game becomes a kind of escape mechanism. The evasion that video games provide can be very appealing to someone who is struggling with problems at home or school.
Solutions to put your controller down
Considering all the negative consequences of excessive video game use on mental and physical health, there are several things a parent can do to help their teenager overcome an addiction. Among the ways to consider, some mobile apps can be good tools to help in this process thanks to their various features.
Your health care professional can help you choose
Feeling confident is important. Get all the essential information about health apps by talking to your healthcare professional.
AppGuide provides reliable information about mobile health apps that allows patients and healthcare professionals to make informed, shared decisions about using a health app to track health status or act on your priority health goals.