There are a number of harder symptoms which may indicate that it is time for you to seek help for your gaming addiction. Most obviously, if your gaming is beginning to threaten the stability of your family life and the security of your loved ones – for instance, if debt is beginning to threaten your home – you need to stop immediately. Likewise, if you have lost a job or a place in education because of your gaming; if you have committed or are committing crime to fund your gaming; or if your gaming has cost you a treasured relationship you need urgent help.
Less dramatic signs that you need assistance in quitting gaming include:
If any of those apply to you, then your gaming has taken over, and you need to make changes urgently.
Residential rehabilitation – “rehab” – has long been established as the most successful long-term treatment for addiction of any kind. (“Rehab” describes the process of attending a dedicated rehabilitation facility, and the facility itself.) At rehab gaming addicts are able to receive treatment – including a broad range of therapies – in pleasant, tranquil surroundings in which they can focus entirely on their recovery without the distractions – and, crucially, the temptations – of the outside world.
At Primrose Lodge, our first-class rehab in Surrey, our hugely experienced professional staff has helped countless addicts get back onto the path towards healthy happy lives. Our rehab programme includes therapeutic models such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), art therapy, meditation therapy, mindfulness and more; we provide bespoke dietary and fitness plans to ensure healthy bodies as well as healthy minds; and, being aware of the importance of loved ones in the recovery process – as well as the impact on them of addiction – we also provide a Family Recovery Programme to ensure the healing spreads throughout the entire home.
Therapy is a vital aspect of addiction recovery, and our therapy includes both one-to-one and group settings, both considered vital so that addicts can gain valuable new perspectives on their addiction; group therapy, in particular, can also provide an important peer group with whom to share experiences and advice, and from whom to gain support at critical times. Working with others who have also experienced the highs and lows of internet addiction can provide key learnings as well as robust emotional support.
One-to-one Counselling with a Psychologist or Mental Health Professional. For those who seek to address computer addiction with the help of a therapist, cognitive-behavioural therapy is usually the treatment method of choice. If possible, it is always best to choose a psychologist who is experienced working with computer game and/or internet addictions. If such an individual is not available, it is best to select a counsellor who is familiar with the world of online games and is willing to consider the possibility that computer game addiction does exist (some therapists will not even entertain this idea).
Family Therapy. For adults addicted to computer games, family therapy is rare – although couples counselling may occasionally be appropriate. For teenagers and children however, family therapy can be very helpful. For families choosing this option, the therapist can be expected to look at the family system and interconnected family dynamics as a whole, and create treatment plans that incorporate all family members – not just the one identified as having the “problem”.
Computer Game Addiction Books. Self-help books on computer game addiction are by far the most affordable treatment option for video game addicts. They help the individual assess how computer games have impacted his or her life, evaluate the benefits of change, and provide step-by-step strategies for developing healthier gaming habits. Additionally, they allow the person to work from the privacy of home and at a pace that fits with his or her work, school, and/or family commitments.
For those who are frustrated by gaming addiction and who recognise the need to take action, TechAddiction offers instantly downloadable self help workbooks for adults, children and teenagers who are addicted to computer games.
Rehab is not an inexpensive option; while costs will vary considerably from one case to the next depending on the duration of the stay and possibly other factors, and therefore a precise figure cannot be given here, usually cost would be around £3,000 per week (based on a 28-day stay). Clearly this may not be appropriate for everyone.
However, the effectiveness of rehab is such that that sum may be considered an investment in your future, and the cost of not getting treatment – in financial terms and, more importantly in terms of your mental health, your life prospects, and the well-being of your loved ones – is so devastatingly high that this could easily be considered the best investment in yourself you will ever make.
Some of the advantages of rehab are:
• An attractive and relaxing setting in which to focus 100% on your recovery.
• World-class medical and therapeutic care available 24/7.
• A range of therapy models to fit your requirements.
• Bespoke dietary and fitness plans.
• Complete confidentiality to reassure you that details of your condition will not become common knowledge.
• Group therapy to provide you with a ready-made peer group for advice and support.
• One year’s free aftercare to ensure your support continues in the outside world.
Some of the disadvantages of rehab are:
• The cost of a stay in rehab can be prohibitive for some addicts.
The Twelve Steps are a treatment for the mental condition of addiction. They were adapted from the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous. The C.G.A.A. fellowship places a high value on respect for all of the many various spiritual, philosophical and religious beliefs and have worded our steps in a general way that can be easily used by anyone seeking recovery from compulsive gaming.
CGAA provides a non-judgmental environment in which recovering gaming addicts can discuss their situations, open up about difficult and challenging experiences, and ask for advice on particular situations which they are finding difficult. Those attending can feel confident that those they’re speaking with truly understand what they have been through and the nature of their daily struggles, and may feel much more inclined to speak frankly and place trust in others than they might in a group comprising people who have not lived the life of a problem gamer. They can also develop relationships with people who can act as sponsors or emergency support if they feel that they are likely to relapse: sometimes merely phoning a friend for a chat can dispel that craving.
For some people, private addiction counselling proves a very useful option, either following attendance at rehab as a supplement during long-term recovery, or as a way of managing addiction before taking steps to overcome it altogether (this may be useful for very long-term addicts who feel they need a period of preparation before making such a drastic change). Private counsellors can be found across the country and provide various different therapy models, including some especially niche options which may benefit those for whom mainstream addiction treatment has not proved successful in the past.
Private addiction counsellors act as personal therapists, who can be engaged directly or sometimes through a network of counsellors or businesses. These counsellors can be seen at a frequency to suit the addict, but this usually comprises weekly appointments, often of an hour or so at a time. Some counsellors require a minimum commitment – perhaps six appointments – while others have no such limit. Patients usually pay a fee per appointment although other fee models are available, depending on the preferences of the counsellors in question. Some counsellors may offer emergency access in times of great distress on the part of the client; however, most operate only by appointment during working hours. Advantages of private counselling:
Some of the advantages of private addiction counsellors include:
• They may provide non-mainstream therapy models which appeal to particular addicts.
• The regularity of weekly appointments can prove reassuring during recovery for people who value stability.
• You can develop a close understanding with your counsellor and open up about potentially very traumatic subjects. • The benefits of therapy may go well beyond overcoming addiction.
Every case of addiction, as noted, is different and every addict is unique. Therefore, it is impossible to say at the beginning of the recovery journey which treatment service will be appropriate for you. However, it is generally agreed within the medical community that rehab provides the best chances of thorough permanent recovery. The provision of a variety of therapy models, delivered in an attractive peaceful environment, providing a holistic approach to treatment which benefits addicts physically, mentally and spiritually.
The combination of individual and group therapy gives useful multiple perspectives on addiction and uncovers its root cause, which can then be addressed in a confidential and non-judgemental setting. Moreover, Primrose Lodge recognises that in many cases the family is key to long-term recovery and happiness and our Family Recovery Programme provides healing for both the addict and their loved ones – the perfect foundation for a return to happiness.
Whichever approach to treatment you choose, fellowship groups should always be a component of your long-term recovery plan, as they provide invaluable peer support and can play a crucial role in preventing relapse. You will feel cravings during your recovery, but resisting them is vital and it is easier to do this with the support of those who have been through the experience of addiction.