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Phone & Video Game Addiction and How Parents Can Set Parameters for Use

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News Release

Thanks to modern technology, parents have to worry about a host of new problems. For example, a phone or video game addiction can occur alongside other mental health issues, or it may be the only problem.

Behavioral hospitals generally won’t treat just a video game or phone addiction. Instead, they treat underlying problems, like depression and anxiety, because these issues can lead to a video game or phone addiction.

In either case, a video game or phone addiction can quickly take over an individual’s life. However, by seeking treatment for your loved ones, you can help them enjoy a normal life again.

What is Phone and Video Game Addiction?

While it is customary to use video games and phones for a portion of the day, individuals can end up having a video game or phone addiction if they spend excessive time on their devices. If playing online games and texting friends keep the child from having real-life relationships, they may be experiencing some of the signs of video game or phone addiction.

Parents can spot symptoms of a video game addiction or a phone addiction by paying attention to their child’s behaviors. For example, your child may be unable to quit playing, think about gaming constantly, or need to be on the phone more often to feel happy. In addition, they may stop doing schoolwork, get into trouble at work, or quit doing their favorite activities because of their addiction.

When is Phone or Video Game Use a Problem?

Many children use video games and phones daily without ever developing an addiction. While technology is a normal part of day-to-day life, it is possible to overuse it. Your child may have a problem if you notice the following signs of video game addiction or phone addiction.

  • When the child is grounded from their device(s), they exhibit withdrawal symptoms, like anger or frustration.
  • They stop taking care of their personal hygiene.
  • The child is preoccupied with video games and talks about nothing else.
  • Their mood suddenly switches from cranky to calm when they start playing video games or talking on the phone.
  • They may develop physical symptoms, like neck soreness, eye strain, or sore fingers.
  • At school or work, their performance starts to suffer.
  • They no longer care about other activities they once loved.

How to Prevent Phone or Video Game Addiction

If you notice your child is displaying some signs of excessive video game or phone use, there are things you can do to prevent addiction. 

Limit Screen Time

One of the best things you can do to help prevent video game addiction or phone addiction is to limit screen time. You can schedule screen time for a specific part of the day so the child isn’t tempted to remain on their device.

Encourage Social Interaction

Ideally, children should be encouraged to take part in in-person social activities. However, you can also promote other activities, such as painting, reading, and sports, so your child can have a balanced lifestyle.

Take Away Phones at Night

It’s impossible to monitor screen time when you’re asleep. So to prevent your child from accessing their phone at night, you should take it away and turn it off. At the very least, phones and video games shouldn’t be kept in the child’s bedroom.

Consider an App

If monitoring screen time is challenging, there are apps that can help. These apps can automatically limit screen time, so you don’t have to.

Get Help for Your Child’s Addiction

Our team of professionals at the Bakersfield Behavioral Healthcare Hospital can help children who use video games and phones cope with anxiety, depression, and other mental health disorders. To learn more about how we can help, contact us today.