Do you have a child who is inattentive, unmotivated, and exhibiting uncontrollable emotions? Maybe they have been isolating themselves for hours, only happy when playing video games, or acting out in new ways? If so, your child may be struggling with ADHD and video game addiction.
Before we go into the correlation between the two, let’s really understand what ADHD and video game addiction are.
What Is ADHD?
ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a mental disorder that many children develop which leads to difficulty focusing on tasks and controlling their behaviors. If you are having a hard time discerning whether or not your child has ADHD, don’t worry. You are not alone. It’s hard to actually distinguish between ADHD and normal kid behavior at times. The red flags should be if they continue to act out across the board–at home, school, social gatherings, etc.
ADHD Warning Signs
- Self-Focused Behaviors
- Inattentive, Trouble Focusing
- Uncontrolled emotions
- Trouble Completing Tasks
You can learn more about the warning signs of ADHD from HealthLine.
As you can see many kids exhibit different signs of ADHD. Some will be bouncing off the walls while others appear sluggish or are referred to as “lazy.” It may seem like they could behave better, but kids suffering from ADHD simply can’t sit still if they wanted to. This is where the “hyperactive” profile comes in. They can focus on activities they love, such as video games, but are simply unable to focus on other things like school which can get them labeled as a troublemaker or undisciplined. Learn more about the differences between ADHD and other disorders.
What is Video Game Addiction?
Studies show that kids spend up to 50 minutes each day playing video games. If a child has access to a video game console or games on other media devices in their room, this number drastically increases. According to a recent article from CNN, the author references research by Douglas Gentile, a psychologist at Iowa State University about the addicting nature behind video game addiction. While games can be fun and even used in educational ways, they can also become very addicting because they play into the ABC’s of human needs.
The ABC’s behind video game addiction
- Autonomy: feeling like we are in control.
- Belonging: feeling connected to other people.
- Competence: feeling that we are good at what we do.
As you can see, video games provide immediate control and a “high” in your child’s life, which is similar to a drug-like high. While video games can be okay in moderation, it’s imperative to keep an eye out for some of these key warning signs of video game addiction below.
Warning Signs of Video Game Addiction
- Substance abuse
- Greater risk-taking in life
- Violent tendencies
- Increased sexual behavior
- Self-destructive behavior
How Do The Two Correlate? ADHD and Video Game Addiction
Kids who struggle with ADHD usually are drawn to video games. They become a safety net. If a child makes a mistake in a social setting like school or sports, everyone can observe him. When a child makes a mistake in video games, he can usually go back and retry until he succeeds.
Video games also are ways that kids can spend hours and hours, without proper self-regulation—a symptom of ADHD. Kids can pace back and forth while standing in front of a TV, or channel their focus into this one specific tasks.
Is Medication The Best Choice for ADHD and Video Game Addiction?
Often, children struggling with ADHD and video game addiction are prescribed medication and other therapies. While this can be a solid option for certain kids, it may not be the best choice for your child. This is where Wilderness Therapy and Pacific Quest can make a difference.
How Pacific Quest can help break the habit and help struggling ADHD teens.
The best way to fight a video game addiction is with nature! Wilderness therapy programs at Pacific Quest addresses addiction with compassion instead of punishment and humiliation. At Pacific Quest, our students will learn to love themselves, build a healthy community, and practice life skills to guide them on a healthier, happier path.
While some programs focus on arduous climbs, we combine horticultural therapy, compassion, and specific plans for success that are unique to your child. Furthermore, they will develop habits to help cope with their ADHD, and may even see improvement!
Don’t Wait, Call Us Today!
If your child has exhibited several of the warning signs above, it’s important to seek out the help and guidance of the wilderness therapy professionals at Pacific Quest!