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Conditions We Treat

Video Game Addiction Rehab Treatment

Written By Stuart Croft
Reviewed By Tiffany Green
Medically Reviewed By Wajahat Choudhry
Updated January 11, 2023

For many people, video games offer a short and relaxing break from reality. You get to immerse yourself in a digital world for an hour or two, relax and unwind, and then return to reality. However, an increasing number of people, largely (but not exclusively) male and teenage, spend exorbitant amounts of time behind the screen, much to the detriment of their physical, psychological, and social well-being. 

Video game addiction is classified as a clinical impulse control disorder with similar contributing factors to other non-substance addictions like gambling and social media. The addict feels a compulsive need to play and becomes despondent when they don’t have access to their console, PC, or mobile gaming platform. 

As one of only a handful of private rehab clinics that offer specialised video game / gaming addiction treatment services, Gladstones Clinic has helped many break free from the overwhelming compulsion to spend hours each day competing in the digital arena. Through thorough and personalised treatments, we can address the root of compulsive gaming, allowing you to enjoy a healthy relationship with gaming while still managing to meet your real-life responsibilities.

Need help battling video game addiction?

Gladstones Clinic is one of only a handful rehab clinics offering specialised video game rehab treatment services

Learn more about video game addiction

How do video game addictions form?

There are several theories about how gaming addictions form; however, researchers have not been able to pinpoint a single definitive cause. What we do know is that gaming causes elevated levels of dopamine, a neurotransmitter working in the brain’s reward centre. Gaming can cause the same dopamine rush as pleasurable activities such as eating, sex, gambling, and even substance abuse. For many, the ability to easily access this rush 24 hours a day becomes a habit and, eventually, a full-blown addiction.

Underlying psychological, social, and personal factors can also contribute to video game addiction. Individuals suffering from conditions such as ADHD and Asperger’s are particularly susceptible to gaming addiction, while those with social anxiety or trouble building meaningful in-person relationships also increasingly turn to online gaming communities for companionship.

When to seek help for video game addiction

Video games are supposed to be fun, but when fun becomes a compulsion, video games become a hazard to your physical, psychological, and social well-being. Left untreated, video game addicts can see a decline in their physical health as they prioritise gaming over physical activity and exercise, experience increased stress and anxiety over unmet school, work, or family responsibilities, and miss more and more opportunities to socialise and build healthy offline relationships.  

If you or a loved one have experienced any of these symptoms of compulsive gaming, please consider getting in touch with professional gaming addiction rehab service providers.

What happens in video game addiction therapy?

1. Addiction Assessment & Consultation

The first phase of Gladstones Clinic’s gaming addiction rehab treatment is a thorough assessment of the addiction’s severity and its impact on your life. This evaluation not only gauges the extent of the gaming addiction but also uncovers any co-occurring issues, such as social anxiety or emotional disconnect that might be fueling the addiction. Armed with a deep understanding of your unique situation, we craft a customised video game addiction treatment plan that specifically targets your individual challenges and recovery objectives.

2. Behavioural Therapies

While your exact treatment schedule is personalised to your unique situation, we’ve seen amazing successes in treating gaming addiction with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). It allows you to critically evaluate thought patterns that lead to compulsive behaviour and develop unique coping strategies to deal with the need to game. Depending on your situation, group therapy could help you develop personal awareness of your addiction and find inspiration and motivation in others who have overcome their addiction, and family therapy can help create a more nurturing and understanding environment at home. 

3. Addressing Underlying Issues

Though video games are designed to be as engaging as possible, underlying factors such as ADHD and a lack of meaningful real-life connections often play a significant role in gaming addiction. Through targeted therapy, we can address these issues to counteract the compulsion to play as a means of escape and explore more ways of actively engaging with the world.

4. Secondary Care, Tertiary Care, and Aftercare

Clinical impulse control disorders can take time and sustained effort to fully recover from. Gladstones Clinic is fully committed to our patients’ full and long-term recovery and has put secondary and tertiary support programmes in place to help achieve this. Our aftercare programmes provide life-long access to support groups, additional therapy if needed, and regular check-ins. With Gladstones as your recovery partner, you’ll always have a safety net when you’re feeling vulnerable or at risk of relapse.

Get professional help in dealing with video game addiction

When video games and other internet addictions start affecting your happiness and ability to meet your responsibilities, Gladstones Clinic can help you regain control and take charge of your impulses.

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