The NHS is treating hundreds of children for video game disorder, including some who were forced to attack their own family members.
New figures show 745 people have been referred to the National Gambling Disorder Center Since opening in October 2019the only clinic of its kind in the UK.
it deals with young people playing games video games With more than 14 hours a day, some people skipped school.
The NHS says children have become so addicted to gaming that they have broken relationships with family and friends and some have become violent.
The centre’s founder and director, Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones, warned that gaming addiction could “take over and prevent them from living a normal day-to-day life”.
It has been listed as an official disease by the World Health Organizationwhich says it can harm “personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”
Professor Bowden-Jones said the injuries were “likely to be very serious”.
Children as young as 13 receive treatment
Not only are gamers themselves being treated at clinics, but family members are also being treated — and the numbers are rising.
From 2021 to 2022, the number of people with gaming disorder receiving help will more than halve, and the number of relatives receiving treatment will increase by 46%.
The average age of gamers who attend the clinic is 17, but some players who receive treatment are as young as 13.
Some patients require more than a year of treatment.
How I Kicked My Gaming Addiction
Previous research has shown that playing video games may benefit mental health.
number of players Rising sharply during the epidemicmany people turned to gaming consoles to stay in touch with friends and family during the lockdown.
But the risk of addiction also increases, Includes specific features like loot boxes – Blind packs of digital goodies in popular games like FIFA.the government is often called admit they are gambling.
Early diagnosis key for gamers and families
Professor Bowden-Jones said early diagnosis of gaming disorder was key to successful treatment.
This is essential not only for those who are addicted to gaming, but also for family members who are “negatively affected by someone’s excessive gaming,” she added.
Patients sent to the London clinic are treated by psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists and therapists.
Sessions, mostly online, include family counseling, parent workshops and one-on-one therapy.
Anyone who thinks they need help should contact their GP or introduce themselves on the centre’s website.