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Gaming disorder: Inside the clinic helping addicted teens

cormack12

Gold Member
Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-59744569

For Stephen and Louise, life with their 16-year-old son Alex can be tough.

Alex's compulsive desire to play first-person shooters like Counter-Strike late into the night, has caused years of anguish for the family. He has also recently been diagnosed with autism.

He has been a patient at the NHS's specialist clinic for treatment of addiction to video games, since earlier this year.
The National Centre for Gaming Disorders is the only treatment facility of its kind in the UK.

Controversial condition​

BBC News has gained exclusive access to the clinic, which opened its doors nearly two years ago.

The (mostly teenage) patients' compulsion to play is so extreme that it often leads to violent outbursts and confrontations with parents or carers. If access to games consoles or computers is denied, many of the people treated at the clinic have threatened to commit suicide. Their social interactions are almost always restricted to online or gaming activities.

Gaming Disorder is a controversial condition defined by the World Health Organization by three characteristics:
  • impaired control when gaming
  • prioritising gaming over other interests
  • escalation of gaming despite negative consequences
Some psychologists, along with the games industry itself, question the evidence used to define the disorder. Until quite recently in the UK, help with problematic gaming could only be sought through private healthcare.

"We know that gaming disorder is quite a rare condition. The symptoms can be really quite severe, which has surprised us," she says.

"We start treatment at 13. We've had a few 12-year-olds who've been referred, we've also heard from parents of people as young as eight, but we haven't been able to see them. The age of people being referred goes right up to the 60s."

It's the only NHS clinic in the UK treating this condition, and its patients are spread out across England and Wales - often treated via video chat. Dr Lockwood thinks there are some advantages to video therapy sessions: "It enables us to engage with people who might be quite reluctant to come to the clinic, because their motivation for engagement and treatment can be quite low."
 

Apeopleman

Member
This is sad. I see this being a serious issue as more and more kids are shut in due to covid hysteria/helicopter parents/ parents who are scared of the outside world

best to let the kids get dirty in the mud and roughhouse, but parents these days are to blame IMO
 

Fare thee well

Neophyte
I definitely prioritize gaming over other interests (because gaming is a top interest for me), but what I'm reading here seems more to do with the negative emotional/social space associated with their personal interaction with gaming?
 

SlimeGooGoo

Party Gooper
Just like, go outside man, touch grass.

On a serious note, some people are more likely to develop addictions, if not with games then with alcohol, gambling or drugs.
I always think this is more related to the individual than by what triggered the addiction. Sometimes it might be depression or some other health condition that needs to be treated.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Would be interesting to know the root causes.

- Completionist. Must beat game and do everything
- Must beat online opponents at all costs
- Doesn't like face to face interactions. Prefers online mic or chat
- Anything digital is more stimulating as there's tons of colours and special effects on screen
- Leaderboard progresser. Or trophies and achievement points hoarder
- Maybe fails at a lot of things in life, but is good at video games so keep doing it
 

TheInfamousKira

Reseterror Resettler
Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-59744569

For Stephen and Louise, life with their 16-year-old son Alex can be tough.

Alex's compulsive desire to play first-person shooters like Counter-Strike late into the night, has caused years of anguish for the family. He has also recently been diagnosed with autism.

That sounds like the real issue. Be an attentive parent, your child has more issues than CSGo. Tell the computer it's your turn to be the parents. Remove it from the house. Stop blaming outside influences for people with clear diagnosed mental issues. This was stupid when Jack Thompson did it, this was stupid when middle aged women were literally shaking over Liara T'soni's bare blue ass, it's stupid now. The 21st Century doesn't need a new illness every day, it needs better ways to manage the one's we already have.
 
I was going to write an essay on how I think parents should handle this kinda issues... But I don't have any children so I'll just shut the fuck up.

That said I played a fuckton of videogames at 16. It got in the way of my grades but still, unless the kid is totally brainless my guess is that he should realize what he's doing and how to fix his shit up unless he want's to end at fucking McDonalds.

And if he doesn't... Why call it an illness? Maybe the kid is just lazy and stupid as fuck.
 

DaGwaphics

Member
You'll always have people that get too wrapped up in some particular thing, etc. Calling it a disorder seems a bit strong, sounds like the parents should just limit play time under their roof.

Crazy things do happen though: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news...thon-attempt-to-play-video-game-for-24-hours/

Always important to gauge your own limits stress wise and know when to take a break The max time I ever spend in a game session is maybe 2hrs or so, my brother in-law can go for 5 or 6 hours, all personal preference I guess.
 
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A.Romero

Member
I think this is not the right approach. Alex's case clearly states that he was diagnosed with autism. Gaming is just a symptom that needs to be managed.

If it wasn't games maybe it could be some other thing. We all seen people addicted to different shit like for example Magic trading cards or substance abuse.

Most people with gaming issues tend to have an underlying condition, I believe. My brother had issues with gaming when he was a teenager
 
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