Problem Internet/Gaming in Children & Youth
Officially, problem internet/gaming is not a disorder, but symptoms of dependence are exhibited in some individuals. Similar to other kinds of dependence, problem internet/gaming can interfere with your child’s life. A problem internet/gamer no longer prioritizes or gives attention to their schoolwork, relationships, and other responsibilities.
Symptoms & signs of problem internet/gaming
Your child may have a dependence on the internet and/or gaming if they exhibit any of the following symptoms:
- Feeling unable to control the time they spend online either through gaming, chatting, or surfing.
- Losing track of time and having trouble fulfilling responsibilities for school or at home due to internet use
- Feeling more comfortable chatting with online peers
- Spending hours gaming
- Lack of balance between time spent online and time spent offline
- Doing productive things on the internet is no longer a priority
When is it time to get help?
If your child feels isolated from their real-life friends and family, who “do not understand them like their online peers” or if your child is sometimes defensive about going online and ends up hiding the time they spend online, you should consider seeking help on behalf of your child for a possible dependence.
Problem internet/gaming treatment methods:
- Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to treatment that focuses on how people’s thoughts, emotions, and beliefs influence their behaviour and how they perceive themselves.
- Behavioural therapy tends to view human beings and behaviour with the assumption that humans are a product of their sociocultural conditioning and environment, looking at the current problems and the factors influencing them and emphasizes behaviour changes more than the underlying unconscious processes.
- Existential therapy is focused on providing the client with a greater understanding of themselves including self-development, and self-awareness. This therapy works on the individual’s unique set of choices and the meaning behind them, making them know they can’t blame their decisions and the repercussions entirely on past conditioning and/or genetics.
What will I get out of treatment with Insight Psychological?
If problem internet/gaming is affecting your child’s life, you should know that your child is not alone. Our therapists utilize a variety of effective treatment methods that can support your child on their journey to finding healthy ways to cope, to stop self-medicating and to reclaim their life. Insight Psychological’s trained therapists can help in the assessment and treatment of potential problem internet/gaming. Contact us to learn more or to book an appointment.