Technology addiction in all of its forms has become a disruptive form of maladaptive behavior, causing deep complications in relationships, health, and the ability to fulfill life responsibilities. From smartphone addiction to social media addiction the compulsive need to interact with digital devices and the virtual worlds they create has started to form a new realm of psychiatric issues. However, many scientists and researchers denounce these issues as being legitimate addictions. Currently, gambling addiction is the only compulsive process addiction considered to be an actual addiction, by technical standards. For the thousands of other people who struggle with sex, porn, technology, internet, and video game compulsions, the addiction is real. They experience the hallmark of every other addiction experienced by every “qualifiable” addict: they cannot stop and it is making their lives unmanageable.
According to U.S. News & World Report, “One recent American Journal of Psychiatry study of nearly 19,000 young adults found less than 1 percent of people experience video game addiction.” In addition to numerous other studies, the scientific community has led themselves to believe that the lack of empirical data and proven research indicates that video game addiction affects too small of a population for it to be considered significant. “The same can be said of many activities;” the article explains, “people overdo it with sex, food, exercise, work or religion, none of which (gambling is the exception) have been enshrined as an official disease.”
Video game addiction, while it may not be a primary clinical issue, is typically a secondary issue. Underlying mental health disorders which demand extreme forms of coping can cause a compulsive issue with video gaming. The escape, the high amounts of engagement, the stimulation caused by gaming, can all be pleasurable ways for the brain to cope with otherwise unpleasurable emotional experiences. The article cites studies which found that young people with mental health symptoms tended to have issues moderating their video gaming. “This suggests that mental health issues come first, with gaming issues a symptom rather than a cause.”
Assessing co-occurring disorders, meaning the primary presentation of problematic symptoms (video game addiction) and the underlying causes of maladaptive behaviors (mental health disorders) is essential for full recovery. At Cottonwood Tucson we take pride in our international renown for our proven clinical excellence in assessing and treating co-occurring disorders. With an individualized treatment program overseen by a psychiatrist, physician, and primary counselor, we skillfully address underlying issues which perpetuate video game addiction. Cottonwood Tucson has been working with co-occurring disorders for over 20 years, serving as a place of hope, safety, and understanding. Call us today for information about our addiction rehab and behavioral health treatment at (800) 877-4520.