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Does My Child Have Video Game Addiction?

By Randi Morse

When I was growing up, only the unpopular children played video games. I absolutely loved video games; I found them as a way to escape my regular life. Society has changed, and video games are now no longer only played by the unpopular children. Everyone from athletes to scholars have likely grabbed a controller at one point in time or another. While it may seem like a harmless pastime, video game addiction is something psychologists are starting to be sincerely concerned about. How can you tell if your child's interest in gaming has moved from harmless enjoyment to video game addiction?

Mood changes - A big sign that your child may have a problem with video games is if they experience extreme mood shifts. For example, if your child is in a very bad mood, but then becomes calm and relaxed once they start playing a video game, they may have a video game addiction. This shift in attitude can be likened to what other addicts experience when they indulge in their addiction.

Withdrawal -  As with any addict, children with video game addiction experience withdrawal symptoms when they are unable to play their games. These withdrawal symptoms may be more emotional than physical, which can be harder to spot, displaying extreme feelings of anger and frustration when they're not allowed to play is a symptom of video game addiction.

School performance - Anyone who has an addictive behavior put the needs of the addiction above everything else in their life. This is why children who have video game addiction often show a decline in their scholastic performance. Their addiction may also be affecting how they interact with their friends at school as well. This is because children who are prone to addiction prefer to spend their time gaming rather than hanging out with their friends. 

Lying - As with any addictive behavior, children who are experiencing video game addiction may lie to get what they want. For example, if a child is told that they can only play video games if they have good grades, they may lie and tell you that their grades are fine when, in reality, they are not.

Video games may seem harmless, and in most cases they are. The problem comes when the games allow the child to escape feelings or situations that they are trying to avoid and shouldn't. If your child's gaming habits are affecting their daily life, you may want to speak with an expert about the possibility of gaming addiction.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Bloomingdale, Ill.

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