Video addict goes beyond feeling passionate for video games. There is a pattern of addictive behavior, where digital play or video is the highest priority in the life of the individual. This intense attachment interferes with the daily routine of the subject in question and affects their mental and physical well-being.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes addiction to video games such as mental illness. The American Psychiatric Association's diagnostic handbook does not consider it as an official disorder, but it is recommended to further study this phenomenon. The symptoms, according to WHO, include changing the ability to control the game, the prevalence of the game over other interests and activities – to the point that leads to discomfort or change active – and persistent behavioral behavior despite negative consequences.
There are a number of warning signs that can be tried, in the concern that a child has reliance on video games:
- Has the child removed from sports, clubs or other activities that do not include video games?
- Does the child interact mainly with other members of the community video gaming community?
- Has the child's academic performance decreased while interest in games is increasing?
- Does the video game have most free time?
- Are video games changing sleeping patterns and the child?
If any of the answers were positive, the child may be developing dependence on video games.
It is also essential to address the child's emotional response when they can not participate in those video games. The person addicted to video games, in general, in this situation is very angry, worried or distressed to think that you should go away from video games for more not a short time. Because it is a addictive disorder, it's hard for those who have added videos to reduce the amount of time they invest in. Faced with the time lost in the game, people in that situation do not admit that they usually need to be reduced, and many require their behavior to be normal.
It is also important to note that addiction to video games can really affect physical health. Due to the sedentary nature of most video games, people with captivity tend to do some physical activity, which means that the risk of increasing mass mass index. The result of such an increase can be Obesity, The high blood pressure, liver problems and Type 2 diabetes. People who have developed this condition are usually not taking steps to address these health problems.
In this context, we must remember the recommendations of the American Pediatric Academy regarding digital screens: children under 18 or 24 months should not use social media, unless it is for video conferences; In children from 2 to 5 years, you should restrict the time ahead of screen to no more than one hour a day and from a good quality program; As the child grows, the idea that something fitting everyone can work very well and you will have to say how many social media the child uses each day, as well as the appropriate types.
If you're worried about your child's health, make an appointment with your healthcare provider. This professional can evaluate the situation, give guidance and, if necessary, refer you to a mental health specialist.
If you believe that your child's behavior does not reach the level of video addiction, but believe that it would be helpful to reduce the amount of time spent in front of a screen, try the following: Set up seconds for free o tech during meals, for example, or specific family activities and trips. Make sure everyone, including adults, moves away from the screens during those periods. Remove the screens from bedrooms. Set limits and bodies daily and weekly for the time that can be spent in front of a screen, and enforced. For example, say that all devices and displays are extinguished once an hour before bed and charge the devices outside bedrooms during the night.
Hold a talk with the family about the time they spend in front of a home screen, taking into account the values and priorities of the group. Talk about the importance of setting limits and the benefits of doing activities that do not include electronic devices or video games, such as reading, playing sports, or talking face-to-face animating. Remind your children that learning positive ways of connecting and disconnecting from screens and video games, in general, can help them to protect their safety and their health.
About author: La Dr. Angela Mattke is a medicine specialist for children and young people at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota (United States).