Video Game Addiction (Gaming Disorder)

More and more people are seeking help to deal with the psychological problems emerging from technology. One of these serious problems involves the addiction to video games. Youngsters are becoming addicted, but now we are seeing the phenomenon continue on into adulthood, particularly among Millennials. Many people use video games simply for entertainment and relaxation.  Those who use games in order to relax at the end of the day are not necessarily addicted. However, for the addict, gaming hijacks the mind, and the qualities of addiction that we see with drugs and alcohol begin to manifest themselves with these individuals. The problem has become so severe that the World Health Organization has recognized the problem and named it. It is called Gaming Disorder.

Gaming Disorder is present when a player becomes compelled to play video games and requires constantly increasing engagement playing video games to achieve the same satisfaction or rush of pleasure. The playing of the video game is constantly on addicts’ minds, so that they are visualizing the thrill of playing, advancing, improving, and enjoying the game, even when they are not playing. Addicts are always thinking about the next game. There exists always a desire to upgrade equipment and purchase new games. New games have different themes, newer graphics, and more advanced technology, and addicts are unconsciously compelled to spend money to acquire these new advances, followed by extraordinary amounts of time to advance their skills and knowledge with the new games. Suppliers of games and manufacturers of new technology are all too happy to take the addicts’ money. 

Beyond physical changes to the addict’s mind, which are still being studied, video game addiction creates a number of social problems. For the students, grades are impacted as class or study time falls prey to gaming. For older players in the workforce, the ability to acquire and hold employment is compromised as gaming supersedes sleep and work. Social relationships for those with gaming disorder are strained, and video game players become isolated from their social circles. Often, video game addicts spend countless hours before their gaming systems, ultimately developing personal hygiene issues and sleep disorders. 

Hypnotherapy offers effective and efficient relief from those suffering from Gaming Disorder. Of course, as with any addiction, individuals suffering with the problem need to have some level of desire to overcome their addictions. In a typical teenager, this desire may not be present since they may not fully recognize the impact of the addiction. It may be that a hypnotherapist, acting as an authoritative third party, can meet with a young person who does not desire to change. Such a meeting may help a young gamer to recognize the problems that gaming has created, and thus help to foster a desire for change.  Once an addict desires a change, hypnotherapy can provide a solution.

At the heart of any addiction is a habit. This habit is a subconscious, Middle Mind action over which the individual has lost conscious control. This habit always wins out because the habit exists below consciousness, and since it lies within the Middle Mind, hypnosis provides the tool for the therapist to reach that habit. Once the Middle Mind is in play, the therapist can provide the client with the tools necessary to reprogram the habit. Speaking to the Middle Mind, the therapist will help the addict recognize the dangers associated with the addiction and help to create new, dominating aversions to gaming. The Middle Mind will focus on different, more effective behaviors. Clients will be given the tools to develop healthy life patterns and to establish conscious control over their behaviors. They will be provided with new skills to relax and build confidence. They will also learn steps to lessen anticipated withdrawal from the video gaming, such as irritability, depression, and compulsive thoughts. In the end, the goal of hypnotherapy will be empowering clients to set conscious priorities for their lives.

There must be no delay in addressing video gaming habits. We know that the video games and other technologies are starting to impact the brains of individuals. In video gamers, we are seeing the development of vision problems and posture problems. With ever-increasing technology and the marketing of technology targeting young people, getting control over the engagement with modern life cannot start too soon. Hypnotherapy offers real answers to this worsening problem.