Addiction to Video Games is Hazardous to Your Children’s Health!
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Here’s what the article had to say about “addiction to video games”:
A new study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics finds excessive gaming may lead to depression, anxiety, and poor grades in school.
Researchers in the U.S. and overseas looked at more than 3,000 elementary and middle-school children in Singapore and found that almost 9% of them were considered pathological or “addicted” to gaming – similar percentages were found in other countries.
Over a two-year period about 84% of those who started out as excessive gamers remained so, indicating that this may not simply be a phase that children go through. Boys were more likely to show symptoms of excessive gaming. Overall those considered “pathological” gamers displayed higher levels of depression and other mental health issues than their peers who played fewer video games. The researchers also found that students who did stop their excessive gaming reduced their levels of depression, anxiety and social phobia.
Dr. Vicki’s comments: Every week in my office one parent or another is complaining about how long their child is gaming. Many are even questioning whether their kids have an addiction to video games. Some of the more popular culprits include computer games such as Runescape, WOW (World of Warcraft) and many varietyies on X-box and other gaming systems. Many students are displaying ‘addictive’ type behaviors, showing change in personality, withdrawal, excessive preoccupation with the game, drop in grades and change in attitude and mood.
If you are having concerns about the amount of time your child is playing any techno-games and the possibility of addiction to video games, take action! Limiting the amount of play to the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation of one hour for elementary age children and two hours of screen time for teens should put some balance back into their lives, make way for other activities and help avoid possible addiction to video games. However, if your attempts to limit screen time creates marked anger and increased aggression in your child, it means that there is an addictive quality to his playing and he may actually have an “addiction to video games.” Then playing needs to be ceased altogether.
You will be amazed at how many parents have reported that after limiting video time, or removing it all together (as a consequence, for example) kids actually start going outside to play, regain interest in their toys, come out into the family room where other members are gathered and even seem far less sullen, and even…dare I say it?…happy!
Enjoy your kids!
How are you handling the video craze? What is your opinion about addiction to video games? Please feel free to comment below.