Are you worried that you or someone close to you is addicted to the internet or gaming? Help is at hand. Here we tell you a little about internet & gaming addiction, what to look out for and how we can get you or a loved one the best possible treatment.

What is internet and gaming addiction?

Addiction to the internet and video games is becoming increasingly prevalent, particularly among teenagers. Gaming and use of the internet becomes a problem when it interferes with the social life, personal life and work life of the individual. Many people turn to the internet or video games as a way of coping with problems in their lives or stress and depression. This can quickly become an addiction. In particular, video games provide a fantasy escape from real-life problems. As such, video game addiction is commonly suffered by teens who are shy or socially awkward.

Signs, symptoms and risks of internet & gaming addiction

The first warning sign of an internet or gaming addiction is spending increasing amount of time online or playing games. Addicts might begin to fall behind at school or at work. They may become less sociable and start to neglect friends and family. They may get irritable when they’re not sat at their computer, and experience a sense of euphoria while involved in computer or internet activities. Internet and gaming addicts often feel anxiety, depression, guilt and shame as a result of their behaviour. The nature of the compulsive behaviour can lead to sleep deprivation and physical symptoms such as back and neck pains, weight loss, carpal tunnel syndrome and headaches.

Treatment for internet & gaming addiction

Abstinence from computers is often not an option; most people need internet access for school or for work. If you’re a parent concerned about your child, monitor and limit their computer use. Talk to them about underlying causes and encourage other interests. Don’t be afraid to turn to professional counselling. For teenagers, a treatment programme that specialises in adolescents might be recommended with activities designed to instil confidence and develop social skills and healthy interests. Adults can be successfully treated with a combination of counselling and cognitive behavioural therapy. Therapy can also help you learn healthier ways of coping with emotions such as depression, boredom and loneliness.It is also important to identify the root cause of the addiction, and medication may be prescribed to treat anxiety or depression. At Addiction Helper we’ll give you all the advise you need and find you the best possible treatment for your circumstances