Internet Gaming Disorder in Children and Adolescents

Jan 16, 2021
Child Therapy

Understanding Internet Gaming Disorder

As technology continues to advance, the prevalence of Internet Gaming Disorder among children and adolescents has become a growing concern in the field of Mental Health. Internet Gaming Disorder is characterized by excessive and uncontrollable gaming habits that result in negative consequences for individuals.

The Impact on Children and Adolescents

Children and adolescents are particularly vulnerable to the effects of Internet Gaming Disorder due to their developing brains and limited self-regulation skills. Excessive gaming can lead to various cognitive, emotional, and behavioral issues, impacting their overall well-being and academic performance.

Symptoms of Internet Gaming Disorder

Identifying the symptoms of Internet Gaming Disorder is important in order to address the issue effectively. Some common signs include:

  • Preoccupation with gaming
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not gaming
  • Tolerance, needing more time spent gaming to achieve satisfaction
  • Loss of interest in other activities
  • Continued gaming despite negative consequences

Causes and Risk Factors

Several factors may contribute to the development of Internet Gaming Disorder in children and adolescents. These include:

  1. Escapism: Using gaming as a means to escape from real-life problems or stress.
  2. Social connection: Seeking social interaction and a sense of belonging through online gaming communities.
  3. Rewards and achievements: The thrill of achieving goals and rewards within the gaming environment can be addictive.
  4. Peer pressure: Influence from friends or peers who engage in excessive gaming.

Impact on Mental Health

Internet Gaming Disorder can have a significant impact on the mental health of children and adolescents. Excessive gaming can lead to:

  • Depression and anxiety
  • Social isolation and withdrawal from real-life relationships
  • Decreased academic performance
  • Impaired problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Sleep disturbances

Treatment and Support

It's crucial for parents, caregivers, and mental health professionals to provide support and appropriate interventions for individuals with Internet Gaming Disorder. Treatment may involve a combination of:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy: Helping individuals understand and modify their thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors related to gaming.
  • Family therapy: Involving the family in the treatment process to improve communication and establish healthy boundaries around gaming.
  • Education and awareness: Educating children, adolescents, and their families about the risks and healthy use of technology.
  • Support groups: Connecting individuals with peer support groups or online communities to promote accountability and shared experiences.

Alison K Bowles, Ma, Lmhc - Your Partner in Mental Health

At Alison K Bowles, Ma, Lmhc, we understand the complex nature of Internet Gaming Disorder in children and adolescents. Our mission is to provide comprehensive and evidence-based support to help individuals overcome this challenge and regain control of their lives.

Our Approach

With years of experience in the field of Mental Health, we take a holistic approach to address Internet Gaming Disorder. Our tailored interventions include:

  • Individual therapy sessions to uncover underlying issues and develop effective coping strategies.
  • Family therapy to support open communication and healthy dynamics within the family system.
  • Parenting guidance to equip parents/caregivers with the necessary tools to set healthy boundaries and promote balanced technology use.
  • Collaboration with schools to create awareness and develop strategies to address Internet Gaming Disorder in educational settings.

Contact Alison K Bowles, Ma, Lmhc Today

If you are concerned about Internet Gaming Disorder in your child or adolescent, or if you need guidance on any other mental health-related issue, we are here to help. Reach out to our experienced team at Alison K Bowles, Ma, Lmhc, and let us support you in your journey towards a healthier and more fulfilled life.

Category: Health - Mental Health

Published on: February 1, 2019


Taylor Duderstadt
Great article! 🎮 It's important for parents and educators to be aware of how Internet Gaming Disorder can affect children and adolescents. Understanding the impact and implementing preventive measures can help promote a healthier relationship with technology. 👍
Nov 11, 2023