The addiction to video games, with symptoms similar to alcoholics and drug addicts

The addiction to video games presents psychological symptoms "similar" to those suffered by alcoholics and drug addicts. This has been assured by the member of the College of Psychologists of Madrid and expert in addictions, José Antonio Molina, which indicates that this symptom "is shared by almost all addictions."

Some of these symptoms are "the difficulty in falling asleep due to overactivation of the brain or withdrawal syndrome," he says. On the latter, the specialist recalls that is linked to "anxiety, irritability and anger."

However, Molina specifies that the consumption of addictive substances causes in the body situations that do not occur in addiction to new technologies. In this sense, and as an example, he assures that alcohol withdrawal generates in alcoholics "effects such as 'delirium tremens' or tremors", something that does not happen in consumers 'hooked' to video games.


However, the expert clarifies that if these products are used in a playful way, "they can be a complement to the different areas of people's lives." The problem, in his opinion, is created "if you have a dependency", since this person will have to play for more hours every time. "He will begin to interfere in his vital tasks," he adds.

Addiction to videogames: academic problems

In this way, Molina synthesizes that it is considered addiction when it has negative consequences "and, even so, this behavior continues repeating". Therefore, he says that "if six months or a year go by, you can talk about having a problem."

In the specific case of minors, they "will begin to relate less to their friends, to weaken in school and to be less committed at the family levelIn addition, there will be "a loss of control", which will cause what was in principle to be a while alone, "take much more time and the neglect of other activities," he laments.


As for the people most susceptible to becoming addicted to new technologies, Molina highlights two types of personalities: the susceptible and those with less ability to anticipate future consequences. However, it also considers candidates for this addiction to citizens with a deficit in social skills, since "it is harder for them to communicate and they are isolated in videogames as a refuge. "

To solve these problems, the professional discards drugs because psychology "has sufficient tools and techniques." Thus, he confirms that, "although each person is a world, the first thing to do is an assessment to see if, in addition to his addiction, he has other problems".

Family members also need specific therapy

After that, it is necessary to perform a stimulus control, which consists of "trying to control the times of use of the video game and to encourage other activities," he says. In addition, the family should ensure that the old game is in a visible place in the house "so that the patient does not isolate himself and spend hours and hours playing," Molina explains.


Precisely regarding the relatives, the expert assures that these "sometimes have a sense of victimization and wonder what they have done wrong". Therefore, and as described in his book 'SOS ... I have an addiction', the member of the Psychologists College of Madrid stresses that "it is very important to intervene on them".

In his opinion, in addition to advice regarding the patient, "many times they need a specific therapy for them because they are very affected by the situation. "With it they get" an emotional ventilation because addictions are often hidden ", concludes Molina.

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