Help for a Loved One
Advice for Families and Friends
If you have a child, spouse, friend or other loved one who seems to spend all of their time either playing games or browsing the internet, it can be incredibly difficult to understand at which point this behaviour moves from being an engrossing hobby or pasttime to an addiction problem.
Do you know someone whose internet use or gaming habits are giving you cause for concern? Here are some tips to help you recognise a potential problem. To speak to an advisor in complete confidence, call us today and we can talk you through how best to handle the situation.
Someone who is addicted to the internet or to electronic gaming usually shows a significant preoccupation with particular games or computers generally when they are not able to indulge their habit. For instance they could seem distracted, irritable or disinterest in other activities, and may talk about a particular game or a favoured internet site almost constantly.
This is common for many addictions and video gaming and internet addiction is no different. Addicts may significantly downplay the amount of time spent gaming or in front of their computer. This could involve lying about it, but some people will also make excuses like saying they “need” to be online.
Lack of Control
Someone who is at risk of being addicted to video games will probably have difficulty in controlling the amount of time they spend online or playing games. For instance, they may say they will “just nip on for ten minutes” but still be completely engrossed several hours later.
Loss of Time
This is similar to lack of control, when a person may sit down with every genuine intention of only playing for half an hour but then entirely lose track of time and suddenly realise that hours have passed. This can often manifest in video game addicts playing all through the night and only realising how much time has passed when the sun rises – or, if they have their curtains drawn, not realising at all until someone disturbs them.
Impact On Other Things
Addicts will often neglect other aspects of their lives in favour of spending more time playing video games or surfing the internet. Friends and family may find that they only receive communications via email or social sites like Facebook, if at all. Work and school is ignored, causing performance to drop. Some addicts even start to ignore their personal care, preferring to play video games or browse the web instead of bathing or eating proper meals.
Avoiding Uncomfortable Situations
This often happens when people use video games or the internet to combat feelings or situations which make them uncomfortable – whether it is just feeling a bit sad one day, arguing with friends or family, money troubles or job or school worries. This means that games and the web become a kind of “self medication” and people can essentially hide in their games or online in order to avoid their problems.
When even casual questions about the amount of time spent online or playing games cause defensive reactions, denial and even aggression, it is often a good sign that something is very wrong with the situation.
The above is not an exhaustive list but can act as an indicator of some warning signs of computer-related addiction in both adults, teenagers and even some younger children. Remember it is never too late to act and seeking help really can change an addicted person’s life for the better, as well as allowing their friends and family to return to get their loved one back as they remember them, healthy and happy.
Call Video Game Addiction help today in complete confidence to start your family on the road to recovery.