When do eSports cross the line into Video Game Addiction?
Video games can be a fun, fulfilling part of most people's lives. If you're connected to other gamers virtually, you likely feel the same kind of mastery and enjoyment other people experience when they play sports in real life. If you're like most people challenged with video game addiction, someone in your life has expressed worry about your behavior. Have you crossed the invisible line into problem gaming?
Video Game Addiction is different from drug addiction.
People who get addicted to drugs or alcohol experience a loss of control. Most addictions lead to immediate and severe consequences when it comes to work, health, or personal relationships.
If you spend significant time playing eSports or gaming, you might experience the consequences a bit differently. Your health - while "fine" - maybe be less than optimal. People who are challenged with Video Game Addiction may make dramatic changes to their diet, sleep, or exercise habits to spend more time gaming.
Video Game Addiction is the one kind of addiction where you might even feel a sense of mastery. When it comes to the virtual world, you might feel a sense of confidence, mastery, and achievement - even if you experience criticism and negative judgment from family members. As you experience greater mastery with gaming, your loved ones may tell you that they're worried about you missing out on opportunities in the real world.
Signs of eSports and Video Game Addiction:
- Feeling restless, irritable, or frustrated when you are unable to play
- Spending time thinking about when you were online or when you will get to be online for your next session
- Lying to people you love about the amount of time you spend online
- Isolating yourself to spend more time gaming
- Disrupted sleep, fatigue, or exhaustion due to gaming
- Migraines, carpal tunnel syndrome, or overuse injuries due to gaming
eSports and video gaming cross the line into addiction when you experience a sense of mastery in the virtual world, but loss of control and missed opportunities in the "real" world. You might find yourself staying awake, skipping meals, and neglecting personal hygiene in order to continue playing.
Counseling can help you interrupt the cycle of eSports and Video Game Addiction.
Break the cycle of real-world disconnection.
eSports and video gaming are habitual behaviors that lead to emotional disconnection from others, from the world, and from oneself. Counseling can help you develop meaningful and satisfying connections by bringing the mastery you experience in the virtual world into your analog life.
Develop a new sense of balance.
Our team believes in balance - not all-or-nothing. Most people can find a way to enjoy eSports and video games without compromising personal values. By engaging with the world and others in ways you find satisfying, you can incorporate a healthy balance into your life.
Discover mastery - in analog.
The skills and strengths you apply to eSports and gaming can be applied to the real world. By helping you re-connect with others and with yourself, you can find restoration and balance in your life.
Feel healthy and confident.
Strategic behavioral counseling can help you get control of your time so you can focus on feeling healthy.
Frequently asked questions about eSports and Video Game Addiction Counseling:
Q. What happens at my first consultation?
Your first consultation is 80-minutes in length. Your counselor will carefully review your intake paperwork before meeting with you. The first part of the meeting will focus on understanding your goals and values. Your counselor will then spend time assessing relevant background information. In the final part of the meeting, your counselor will offer you a menu of options based on your goals. Your recommendations will include a variety of options, including continuing with counseling, trying out strategies on your own, or pursuing other behavior change resources.
Q. How long will it take to create meaningful change?
Some people can create lasting and meaningful change in as little as 12-20 sessions of weekly counseling. This depends on the extent and severity of your gaming behavior. Your counselor will always share a sense of how long it will take to achieve your goals.
Q. Do I have to give up gaming forever?
Some people find that they want to change the amount of time spent in different gaming sessions. Others find that they are losing significant amounts of money, time, or important relationships due to a certain gaming process. Whether you want to completely stop eSports or would rather focus on reducing certain problematic habits, we will work with you towards your tailored goals.
Q. What if my partner wants to join me for a session?
If you feel that it would be beneficial to have a collateral session with your partner, then you and your counselor will discuss what that might look like before meeting. Partners and family members can provide invaluable support as collaterals in the process of behavior change. We do not, however, offer couples counseling. Why? Because YOU are our main focus. If your partner would like to attend your initial intake session, be sure to notify our Intake Coordinator when you call to schedule at (312) 715-8234.
Q. What if my partner, family member, or friend contacts you?
We can neither confirm nor deny your participation in therapy to an outsider without your written consent. This is to protect your privacy. Your right to privacy and discretion is extremely important to us.
Q. How do I get started?
You can schedule an appointment by calling (312) 715-8234. Our Intake Coordinator will answer your questions and match you with the best counselor to meet your needs.