Video Game and Technology Addiction Treatment

What Is Video Game and Technology Addiction?

Video gaming addiction (VGA) and other extreme and excessive forms of compulsive technology use are part of process addiction disorders. Process addictions are a behavioral addiction that involves a compulsion to engage in rewarding non-substance-related behavior. Sometimes, these are referred to as a natural reward despite the negative consequences to the person’s physical, mental, social, or financial well-being.
Young adults who have process addictions often have a strong history of social isolation due to the “pseudo-connection” they feel as a gamer in a virtual world. As humans, we’re hard-wired for social connection and when deprived of it, are prone to engage in behaviors that essentially medicate this need.

Treatment Philosophy

Developed using nationally recognized clinical resources, our Process Addiction Pathway consists of a whole-person approach with four phases.

Phase 1:

Usually lasting two to three weeks is a digital detox during which the client is removed from access to the internet and digital screens and reintroduced to the naturalistic rewards of real-time living. During this phase an emphasis is placed on re-balancing mind, body, and emotions along with good nutrition, adequate sleep, exercise, and social interaction.

PHASE 3:

A step-down phase where clients are gradually weaned-off the externally imposed structure of the program and assume semi-independent responsibilities, phase 3 includes some reintroduction to technology access while still receiving support from the Lifeskills clinical team.

PHASE 2:

During Phase 2, the clinical team involves the client in more active social interaction, communication, real-time activities, and healthy lifestyle activities. During this phase, the client and their family are educated on the dynamics of internet and technology addiction. The focus in phase 2 is on managing stress, social skills, learning to cope with boredom, and how to avoid triggers and urges to go online.

PHASE 4:

The final phase of the program consists of discharge planning, structuring aftercare, and helping the client resume a more balanced life which might include work, school, social activities, and healthy self-care.

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About Process Addiction Disorders

Process addiction disorders are extreme or compulsive forms of a behavior that the individual is unable or is unwilling to stop despite the legal, financial, family, or other consequences.

Activities that fall into process addiction are ones that people engage in every day, such as shopping, gambling, exercise, eating, or sex. These non-substance related activities are ones that, unlike the general public, they struggle with the mental or physical health issues that arise as a consequence of their inability to stop without treatment.
Lifeskills South Florida’s clinical team is highly trained in process addiction treatment and creates a customized plan for each individual depending on their needs and willingness to engage in treatment.
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