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<p>Young adulthood can be a turbulent time. Young adults are just beginning to realize their potential, and are thrust into a world with more freedom and opportunities than ever before. Although this is often joyous and exciting, it can also cause some trouble adjusting, sometimes manifesting in serious psychological or behavioral issues.</p>

<p>Video game addiction is relatively common among young adults, a fact which is gaining more and more recognition. Video games offer constant reinforcement in the form of successful missions and “leveling up.” They also provide an immersive world away from the stressors of everyday life. For young adults with social problems, video games can offer a level of acceptance and connection they don’t find in “real life.”</p>


<p>There are a number of signs and symptoms of video game addiction. The most obvious is excessive gaming. Addicts often play for several hours every day, and may engage in marathon gaming sessions, playing all day or even through the night, or sometimes even several days straight. When they are not able to play games, addicts feel irritable or guilty. Video game addicts often try to stop playing but are unsuccessful, leading to a feeling of powerlessness.</p>

<p>You may also observe other behavioral changes if your child develops video game addiction. For example, addictive gaming usually comes with dramatic changes in the way the addict approaches other leisure activities, their social life, and their school and work obligations. Often, physical health and all other activities are eschewed in favor of gaming. Addicts may also display signs of depression or anxiety, which tend to accompany video game addiction.</p>


<p>Since playing video games is rarely a necessity, video game addiction can be treated using a cold-turkey approach if desired. However, since access to gaming is so easy on computers and other devices, video game addicts do need to learn to avoid the temptation to play, or at least the temptation to play excessively. Treatment should focus on helping patients achieve that goal by addressing both the behaviors associated with addiction and the underlying emotional causes. Options include:</p>

<li>Group therapy</li>
<li>Individual therapy</li>
<li>In-patient treatment</li>
<li>Wilderness therapy</li>

<p>Wilderness therapy is one of the most comprehensive options. At Pacific Quest we have seen great success with this model. Wilderness therapy combines the benefits of individual and group therapy with the structured, detoxifying environment provided by in-patient treatment. The process occurs in an enriching natural environment focused on real-life achievements and holistic growth.</p>

<p>If you would like to learn more about young adult video game addiction and treatment, please click below for <a href=””><em>A Parent’s Guide to Video Game Addiction in Teens and Young Adults</em></a>&nbsp;or contact Pacific Quest today by calling 808-937-5806.</p>