Video Game Addiction Treatment

Inspirations offer specialized therapeutic behavioral and educational programs for teens in small class sizes, teachers and specialists who understand teens’ particular struggles in the area of Video Game addiction, and uniquely impacting environments for teens who easily fall through the cracks in the home environment.

Video game addiction, also known as video game overuse, is excessive or compulsive use of computer and video games that interferes with daily life. Instances have been reported in which users play compulsively, isolating themselves from, or from other forms of, social contact and focusing almost entirely on in-game achievements rather than broader life events. There is no diagnosis of video game addiction, although it has been proposed for inclusion in the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), according to the Wikipedia web site for the definition of video game addiction. According to WebMD, the definition of video game addiction is:

1. The person needs more and more of a substance or behavior to keep him/her going. 2. If the person does not get more of the substance or behavior, he/she becomes irritable and miserable.

Game addicts often demonstrate withdraw symptoms similar to drug addiction: angry, violent, or depressed.

The Problem – Video Game Addiction

Video game addiction is one of the fastest growing types of addiction. Playing your favorite games can seem like a harmless way to spend your free time, but this behavior can sometimes spiral into a serious video game addiction. Since the problem is a relatively new phenomenon, the exact cause of video game addiction unknown. However, the treatment is the same as drug addiction and often requires a 28 day residential addiction treatment program. This addiction appears to be most common among younger male players. It is quickly becoming an addiction for younger females too. Adults are also included in the rising number reports of video game addiction.

Detox – Video Game Addiction

As strange as it may seem, there is a Detox process for video game addiction. This behavior is a clinical impulse control disorder, identical to gambling addiction. The Detox process commonly occurs in a residential addiction treatment center. As in all addictions, the goal is to remove the source of the addiction. In drug rehab, when substance is the addiction, it is the alcohol or drug that is removed. When it is video game addiction, the video games and source of gaming is removed. As the removal of the source of addiction occurs, other psychological issues are examined in order that an individual treatment plan can be created and clinical therapeutic approaches can begin. Often, patients or clients are “self-medicating” or seeking a feel-good feeling in response to life stressors, anxiety, depression, trauma, or other catalysts for the need to feel good. The need to “feel good” increases and the source (video gaming) of the feeling becomes addictive, resulting in daily life responsibilities and relationships, suffering and eventually making daily life functions nearly impossible.


People who are addicted to video games know that their behavior is causing strain on relationships, employment, and personal health, yet they feel powerless to change their behavior. Therapy is the most common course of treatment for video game addicts. It is also the course of treatment in the residential addiction treatment program. Although most clients in drug rehab are there for drug abuse or drug addiction, they often demonstrate other addictions and further, the addictive behaviors are identical to the traditional cycle of addiction. Since this addiction has only been in the spotlight for a short time, many mental health professionals are unaware of the extent of the problem. It is important to choose a treatment program that has integrated video game addiction and other addictions into the traditional substance addiction treatment, recognizing the association between the behaviors and addiction treatment.

The therapeutic approach is the same Psychotherapy with a solution oriented approach to working with the client to resolve life problems. Therapy includes individual therapy, group therapy, and family therapy. Therapies might also include solution focused therapy, trauma therapy, EMDR, music therapy, art therapy, and other therapeutic approaches. Video game addiction treatment also includes groups on addiction education, coping skills, decision making skills, anger management, stress reduction, meditation, and yoga.

Addiction Warning Signs – Video Game Addiction

Video game addicts can become isolated, drop out of their social networks, refrain from hobbies, family gatherings, experience a decline in academics and grade point average or college classes and diminished self-esteem and communication skills is also common.

Warning signs for video game addiction include:

  • Playing for increasing amounts of time
  • Thinking about gaming during other activities
  • Gaming to escape from real-life problems, anxiety, or depression
  • Lying to friends and family to conceal gaming
  • Feeling irritable when trying to cut down on gaming
  • Loss of time with family and friends
  • Loss of time in academics
  • Loss of time in employment • Isolation

If you or a loved one, are experiencing the warning signs of video game addiction, contact Inspirations For Youth and Families, the most recognized and nationally accepted program for Video Game Addiction.

Inspirations for Youth and Families aka, Inspirations Teen Rehab is here to help your teen and your family.