Everyone loves playing games. Whether that be a physical sport, board games, or video games, there is something innately human about wanting to play them. But for some, these hobbies can become addictive.
The World Health Organization now recognizes being addicted to video games as a disease. Scientists think that the brains of these individuals work similarly to those addicted to drugs and alcohol. This addiction is linked to a number of damaging symptoms such as lower life satisfaction, lower academic achievements, and comorbid psychiatric disorders.
Unfortunately, the group most at risk for becoming addicted are adolescents, with the Pandemic keeping everyone inside only making matters worse.
Although it sounds all doom and gloom, there is hope for parents. A study has worked on tackling this condition and may just have the effective solution needed to solve this crisis. Conducted on 411 high school students, aged from 12 to 18 years old, from 33 different schools, the approach used cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) techniques to treat those with video game addiction.
The technique, termed PROTECT (Professional Use of Technical Media), was able to reduce the severity of symptoms linked to this addiction. “Results of this trial showed that the PROTECT intervention effectively reduced symptoms of gaming disorder and unspecified internet use disorder over 12 months,” stated the paper, published in Psychiatry.
The control group that received no PROTECT therapy also saw a decrease in the severity of symptoms. “This paradox reaction could be explained by an elevated awareness of problematic internet behavior, which was induced by the PROTECT intervention,” the researchers claimed.
The team hopes that this technique will become more widespread, suggesting the PROJECT treatment could be utilized by teachers and counselors to help young people. Their research also suggests that the earlier that the addictive behavior is caught and treated, the more successful the outcome of the therapy.