Friday , January 27 2023

How to know if a child is a video game addict?


The dependence on video games exceeds the feeling of passion for video games. It is a form of addiction behavior, in which digital or video recording is the highest priority in a person's life. This intense attachment impedes the daily routine of the subject concerned and affects their mental and physical well-being.

The World Health Organization (VHO) recognizes the addiction to video games as a mental illness. The American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic manual does not consider it an official disorder, but recommends that this phenomenon is further studied. Symptoms, according to the WHO, include a change in the ability to control the game, the prevalence of the game over other interests and activities – to the point where it results in discomfort or altered functionality – and constant playful behavior despite the negative consequences.

There are several warning signs that can be asked, in the concern that the child has a video game addiction:

  • Did the kid withdraw from sports, clubs or other activities that do not include video games?
  • Does the child interact primarily with other members of the electronic video community?
  • Has the academic success of a child decreased while interest in games has increased?
  • Does the video play occupy most of the free time?
  • Does the video game change the child's patterns?

If any of the answers is confirmed, it is possible that the child develops dependence on video games.

It is also important to pay attention to the emotional reactions of the child when he or she can not participate in these video games. A video game addict, in general, in this situation becomes extremely angry, upset or disturbed when she thinks she should be moving away from video games over a short time. Since it's an addictive disorder, it's hard for those who have the addiction to video games to reduce the time they invest in them. When dealing with time lost in the game, people in this situation usually do not recognize that they have to reduce it and many insist that their behavior is normal.

It is also important to note that addiction to video games can significantly affect physical health. Due to the sedentary nature of most video games, people with addiction tend to have little physical activity, which carries the risk of increasing body mass index. The result of such an increase may be Obesity, high blood pressure, liver problems and type 2 diabetes. People who have developed this condition usually do not take steps to address these health problems.

In this context, we need to remember the recommendation of the American Pediatric Academy in relation to digital displays: Children under 18 or 24 months may not use social media, unless they are videoconferencing; in children from 2 to 5 years of age, the time on the screen should be limited to no more than one hour a day and a quality program; As a child grows, the idea that something can suit everyone does not work well and you will have to tell how many social media the child uses every day, as well as the appropriate types.

If you are concerned about the health of your child, schedule a meeting with your doctor. This expert can assess the situation, give guidance, and, if necessary, refer you to a mental health professional.

If you think your child's behavior does not reach the level of addiction to video games, but you think it would be helpful to reduce the time spent in front of the screen, try the following: Set off moments without technology during meals, for example, or specific family activities and excursions. Make sure everyone, including adults, is moving away from the screen during these periods. Remove the screens from the bedrooms. Set the limits and police time daily and weekly for the time that can be spent in front of the screen, and put them into effect. For example, say that all devices and displays are off for an hour before bedtime and recharge devices outside the sleeping rooms at night.

Talk to your family about the time they spend in front of the screen at home, taking into account the values ​​and priorities of the group. Talk about the importance of setting limits and benefits from activities that do not include electronic devices or video games, such as reading, playing a sport, or an animated face-to-face conversation. Remind children that learning positive ways of connecting and interrupting connection with screens and video games can generally help to protect their safety and health.

About the Author: La Dr. Angela Mattke is an expert in medicine for children and adolescents at the Maio Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota (United States).

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