Internet and Game Addiction

Childhood gaming disorder

RAPID CITY, S.D. – Technology is booming, and children are spending more time behind screens. In fact, the World Health Organization has named a gaming disorder. The disorder involves excessive gaming and addictive behavior.

The disorder is being recognized by the American Psychological Association and is being put in their “ICD-11.” The ICD is the book psychologists and psychiatrists use to classify diseases.

Certain forms of technology can trigger the pleasure center in the brain. While playing a video game, large amounts of dopamine release to the brain. Dopamine will give the child a rush. If someone is accustomed to that rush, regular everyday activities will seem boring.

Childhood is a time where people develop social skills and creative thinking. Overusing technology can delay the development of important life skills. Children’s brains are impressionable, so it’s important to teach them face-to-face interaction.

“Often times, people can miss developmental milestones if they are constantly on their computer,” said Scovel.

Parents can work on skills through play dates and imaginative play. Dr. Kari Scovel, a clinical psychologist in Rapid City, encourages parents to put kids in group activities. The American Pediatric Association recommends a maximum of 2 hours of screen time a day.

Phones, computers, and television can also contribute to insomnia. The blue light on these devices stimulate the brain and can make you feel awake.

Technology addiction can harm relationships and lead people to isolation. Isolation often leads to symptoms of depression and anxiety. The addiction can cause people to have little desire to socialize. They become consumed in a world of fantasy. In severe cases, people can struggle to separate the game from reality.

“If you feel like you’re becoming addicted, go for a walk, plan a lunch date or simply get out of the house,” said Scovel.

Addiction is a serious matter. If you or your child are exhibiting symptoms, speak to your healthcare provider.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News