Objectives Define Internet and Gaming Addiction Explore the metamorphosis of internet use and video games into addictive behaviors.
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~Why I Care/How It Impacts Recovery The internet provides an immense amount of information, although not all credible. Constant novelty of the internet can serve as an escape Video games, online gambling, online shopping and pornography all have the potential to become problematic Social media also has an addictive quality that can cause withdrawal and exacerbate mood disorders and/or addictions
~Symptoms Downplaying and defensiveness about how much time you spend playing computer or video games Lack of control: Spending more and more time playing video or computer games to get the same enjoyment Withdrawing from friends, family, or your spouse to the point of disrupting family, social, or work life Experiencing feelings of anger, depression, moodiness, anxiety, or restlessness when you’re not gaming Spending significant sums of money for online services, computer upgrades, or gaming systems Preoccupation: Thinking obsessively about being on the computer or playing video games even when doing other things
~Consequences Physical Carpal Tunnel Migraines Sleep Disturbances Insufficient sleep Circadian rhythm disruption Depression/Neurotransmitter Imbalance Backaches
Social 50 percent report a strain in their marriage as a result of their addiction Failure to develop effective face-to-face interpersonal skills Inability or agitation “sitting still”
~What Makes a Video Game Addictive High Score Beating the Game No Ending to the Game – i.e. Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (MMORPGs) Role Playing Novelty/Discovery A good portion of World of Warcraft is spent exploring imaginary worlds, and Minecraft is spent designing new worlds Relationships Acceptance A place to anonymously try out different personas. Researchers at Hammersmith Hospital in London conducted a study in 2005 which found that dopamine levels in players' brains doubled while they were playing
~ Risk Factors Need to escape Poor interpersonal relationships Easily bored Sensation seeking/adrenaline junkies
~ Treatment Goals Abstinence from problematic applications/sites Balanced internet usage Interventions Prevent use parental controls: Turn internet off at a certain time Firewalls Timers Look for and accentuate exceptions
~ Treatment Interventions Prevent use Don’t forget tablets and smart phones
~ Treatment Interventions Decisional Balance Benefits to use Can help identify psychosocial issues needing attention Can identify areas in which to target alternate rewards Drawbacks to use (Accentuate this quadrant) Benefits to abstinence (Accentuate this quadrant) Drawbacks to abstinence Can help identify psychosocial issues needing attention Can identify areas in which to target alternate rewards
~ Treatment Interventions Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Dialectical Behavior Therapy (Distress Tolerance and Impulse Control) Motivational Enhancement Therapy Acceptance and Commitment Therapy Psychoeducation Self Esteem Interpersonal skills Communication Relationship Coping skills Goal Setting
~Treatment Interventions Medications: Temporarily rebalance neurotransmitters with SSRIs (Lexapro, Welbutrin) Naltrexone (an opiate agonist) Dexmethylphenidate Exercise Increases serotonin and dopamine Sunlight can help regulate neurotransmitters including melatonin and improve sleep and mood
~ Treatment Interventions Nutrition Water (dehydration can cause symptoms of depression) Oats Bananas Chicken Dairy products Green leafy veggies Almonds and walnuts
~ Apply It Identify 3 ways you could have used this information in the past week. What was the situation? What did you do? If you would have had this new information, what could you have done differently? How can you start integrating this knowledge into your routine?
~Summary Like other addictions, internet addiction can have physical, social, financial and emotional consequences In our digital age, it is highly unlikely that people can completely unplug. Similar to other behavioral addictions like eating and sex, it is necessary to identify the motivations behind the internet use Additionally, by its very rewarding nature, internet addiction will cause neurochemical imbalances which can lead to depression and apathy.
Recovery involves addressing Underlying mood, self esteem and coping issues Identifying triggers for use and ways to deal with them Creating a relapse prevention plan
~VideoGameAddiction.net NetAddictionRecovery.blogspot.com “Virtual Addiction” David N. Greenfield, Ph.D., “Caught in the Net” Dr. Kimberly Young Center for Internet Addiction Recovery American Psychiatric Association Online Gamers Anonymous ( http://www.olganon.org) Gentile, D.A. (2009). Pathological video game use among youth 8 to 18: a national study. Psychological Science, 20, 594-602.