Amanda Bynes comes clean: she has an eating disorder. How does she announce it? As only a young Hollywood lady can, by posting pictures of herself on Twitter with majorly self-degrading comments.
She used to seem like a sweet, well-balanced, talented actress, getting work all the time. Starring on TV shows and in movies, carrying a whole film, but recently she has taken a turn for the worst.
In February, when she weighed in at 121 lbs, Amanda felt that was Tweet-worthy, and it seems that was when she established her target weight. She had just moved to New York, and her Twitter followers learned that, “I lost four pounds since I moved. I’m 121 pounds — my goal is 100 pounds.”
Amanda celebrated her birthday in early April and then Tweeted that “I have an eating disorder, so I have a hard time staying thin.”
An April 30th Tweet, “About to put on makeup! I weigh 135, I’ve gained weight! I need to be 100 lbs!” was paired with a picture of Amanda in a bra and leggings.
At 5’8” tall, 27-year-old Amanda can weigh between 122 and 164 pounds to still be considered within a healthy range. Obviously if she got down to 100 lbs she could be considered frail and unhealthy. What is keeping her from seeing that? A disease that tricks you by perception?
It appears Amanda Bynes truly has an eating disorder, and she knows it, so many are asking why isn’t she in treatment? Why isn’t someone stepping in and helping Amanda get help? Where are her family and friends? Has the disease convinced her to push everyone who cares about her away? Denial is a powerful mental tool when you need it.
These Tweets are only some of the unsettling messages Amanda has made public. The list goes on. Some are quite vulgar and others are sad.
Many professions would agree – this young woman is screaming for help.
Advice to Amanda, and other women like her: Girl, stop Tweeting! Stop sharing everything with everyone. The help you need will not come from a Twitter follower. Instead, talk to somebody you trust, and if that somebody does not exist right now, call and find help.
The problem is, an eating disorder can consume your thoughts and behaviors. You can feel like you must gain control this aspect of your life because you don’t have control over any other part, and perfectionism is very real too.
For young women in the Hollywood spotlight, staying a certain size and trying to remain relevant to the masses is competitive, but may come as part of the job description. We’ve heard reports of what growing up in the public eye can do to a girl. Britney Spears, Drew Barrymore. Jodie Sweetin (who played Stephanie on the show Full House.) And now Amanda Bynes. The pressure is too much. Without a developed identity, these young women seek external validation and never seem to feel “good enough.”
Eating disorders, and substance abuse issues, are attempts at filling the void. Convincing yourself that, by setting a goal weight and working toward being a certain size, you are taking control of your life, is simply backwards.
Drew Barrymore, per reports and interviews, is a great example of someone who got help and made changes so she could live a healthy life. We cannot do it alone though.
Amanda Bynes needs an intervention. A chance to get healthy. Formal treatment could save her life, and show her how detrimental her current lifestyle will be long-term.
Can someone in her life persuade her to seek eating disorder rehab before anything else life-changing happens?
Is the presence of Internet cafes creating gambling addicts?
This is a question that came up at a recent speaking engagement. And it’s an interesting question. With the proliferation of online gambling and impulsive behavioral addictions, questions like these are coming up more and more.
If you answer yes, then think about this: The same type argument could be made for alcohol and bars. Is the presence of places that serve alcohol creating alcoholics, or will people drink somewhere regardless of the physical options offered?
Are bars creating alcoholics, or are alcoholics keeping bars open? Paying the electric bill and keeping a roof over the owner’s and bartender’s heads?
Are Internet cafes creating gambling addicts, or are gambling addicts keeping Internet cafes in business? There are many people who go to an Internet cafe for a few hours to get things done, and then they leave. There are many people who go to a bar, have a couple drinks, and then leave. Can we put blame on the cafe or bar for people enjoying being there, and possibly developing an unhealthy pattern of behavior, and even an addiction to the good or service being offered?
Still need more? What about sex? The same argument can surround the topic of abstinence versus safe sex. Do we teach the next generation to abide by abstinence and not teach them about safe ways to engage in sex, and then just assume that they will listen and not partake in any sexual activity? Or do we educate young people on what can happen if you do not protect yourself during sex, and allow them to make their own decisions once they have all of the information? If I give you a condom, does that mean that I want you to have sex, or is it a tool for when you choose to participate in the act?
Are Internet cafes any different? Don’t we, as individuals, have the power to choose whether we walk into a place that offers online gambling, or alcohol? And don’t we choose how much time to spend gambling online, and how much alcohol to drink in one sitting?
What if the choice is being influenced by an addiction? What if I walk into a casino or Internet cafe and cannot stop gambling once I’ve started? Or, I walk into a bar and cannot stop drinking once I’ve started. Can the responsibility for my excessive gambling and money loss, or my intoxication and public drunkenness, be put on the Internet cafe, or bar?
Can we take this a step further and throw the concept of obesity and food addiction into the mix? Is the presence of grocery stores, restaurants, and fast food establishments (with easy-access drive-thru windows) creating food addicts?
We all have to eat food to stay alive, why can’t some people stop when they are full? We don’t all have to gamble or drink though, so what is the common thread among gambling online, alcohol, sex, and food? If an Internet cafe, or a bar, adult store, or fast-food restaurant, opens right by your house, will it alter your behavior?
What can be done to keep someone from spending too much time, or from losing money, while gambling online? As an Internet cafe owner, would you take time and put forward some energy to survey your clientele? To check for signs of Internet addiction among the people you find in your seats most often? A bar owner is more likely to spot the patrons who have over consumed and who need to leave. Calling a cab, or in some cases, the person’s family, to get the drunk person home safely becomes part of your job.
Could you spot people who are gambling too much by the amount of time spent at your Internet, or would you have to keep tabs on their spending? Can you ask them to leave?
What do you think? Who’s responsible for impulsive behavior? Is it the individual’s moral decision making? An individual’s brain chemistry? Or is the establishment enabling the individual to make “wrong” decisions?
“When I shop, the world gets better, and the world is better, but then it’s not, and I need to do it again.” Have you seen the movie, Confessions of a Shopaholic? The main character, Rebecca Bloomwood, played by Isla Fisher, says that line to describe why she loves to shop.
Sophie Kinsella wrote a series of novels that lead to the script that follows a young woman who cannot stop shopping. While the story is fiction, there is so much truth to the concept and to that simple quote. Shopping becomes a drug, and the user needs a constant fix.
The fact that a movie like this was made, and did well, shows just how much shopping addiction and compulsive buying are a growing concern in America.
The high Rebecca feels when buying something is temporary. She sees that even though the world gets better and feels better when she compulsively buys, that it is temporary and she needs another shopping spree to make her world feel better again. It’s a vicious cycle of ups and downs based on something completely external. Does this sound familiar?
Instead of buying clothes and other stuff when it is actually needed, people are shopping as a recreational activity. Clothes and shoes are needed for everyday life, yes, but think about how much you are able to wear at one time. Now think of how many items in your closet you absolutely love. What is all the rest there for?
Think about the reason you bought certain pieces that are in your closet right now. Did emotions drive you to make that purchase? Are there feelings still connected to certain articles of clothing Would you say that these emotions and feelings are healthy?
Unhealthy patterns progress and it seems that shopping is a cure for anything difficult to handle these days. Are you having trouble coping with a painful breakup, or loss of a job or friend? Go buy yourself something nice. Are you bored? Go shopping. Sad? Go buy yourself something to cheer you up. It can also go the other way. Are you feeling great? Did you do something well? Go shop a little. Promotion at work? Go reward yourself for a job well done.
So what exactly diagnoses a shopping addiction or compulsive buying? Well, do you feel unable to stop? When you are on your way to buy something, do you feel that you shouldn’t be stepping foot into that store? Do you know that a shopping spree right now will mess up your finances, but you want to do it anyway? Are you buying things that you want instead of items that you need?
If you feel your behavior is out of control, you want to stop but you cannot, and you need help to make shopping and buying changes, you may be diagnosable. In any case, finding out how to stop is an important step. Just like an alcoholic or drug addict, abstinence is a very real part of recovery from shopping addiction and compulsive buying.
Treatment centers that help people recover from drug, alcohol, and behavioral addictions, like gambling and love/sex addiction, also treat shopping addiction and compulsive buying. A formal assessment is a great way to find out more.
The treatment team at The Control Center will help determine what treatment is best for you. Call now 877.813.2974 and start building a better life!
The Control Center’s very own Dr. Reef appeared on The Today Show to talk about new “smart drugs.”
Prompted by a Details Magazine article and Bradley Cooper’s character in the movie Limitless, the segment’s topic focuses on new pills, specifically Nuvigil and Provigil, that make you feel more awake and alert, and essentially increase what you are capable of intellectually.
Today Show host, Matt Lauer sets up the topic by posing the question, “If you could take a pill, and it would make you smarter, would you take it?”
One man tells his story of taking Nuvigil, and then going off the drug. His experience is that the drug only helps him, and he likes who he is better when he is taking the “smart pill.”
Dr. Reef is consulted on these nootropics, or “smart drugs.” He warns that, while these brain-enhancing pills are not addictive, the danger of side effects when nootropics are not taken properly is very real.
In his words, “I’m not against the concept of building a smarter brain. What I am against is people that just haphazardly go in and just try to pretend they’re chemists and do things to their brains that could be hurtful in the end.”
Enhancing the brain’s functioning is not what troubles him, but the approach people are taking in popping a pill without understanding what effect it is truly having on the brain is cause for concern.
Like other pills, Nuvigil and other “smart drugs” are altering your brain’s chemistry. You function one way, and then add a combination of chemicals, and the system operates differently. Your routine functioning is altered. When you don’t know what changes are being made to your own brain, you may not be doing what’s best for you overall, or in the long run.
So back to the question, if your doctor thought one of these non-addictive “smart pills” was right for you, would you take it?
Watch the video to hear Dr. Reef share his opinion on this new class of drugs.
Imagine sitting in the same chair, doing the same activity for 2,190 days in a row.
One Chinese man has spent the past 6 years at an online cafe, only occasionally leaving for food, and for a random shower. He sleeps at the cafe during the day, if he gets tired, but otherwise he is generally engaging in online activity. This man, Li Meng, even pays the cafe a monthly rent as you would for an apartment.
6 years at one place, doing the same activity over and over every day. Based on news reports, Li has clearly not had a haircut during his time at the cafe, but he makes enough money from at least some of the online activity to support his life.
According to reports, Li finished college, but instead of going on to find a job like the rest of his peers, as is expected of young men his age, Li chose to start frequenting the internet cafe and engaging in online activity for money.
China has tried putting a stop to the high levels of online gaming that have occupied the time of way too many young people throughout their country. Camps were set up to discontinue Internet addiction one individual at a time. Allegedly parents take their kids to these camps where violence is used to “cure” the young person of an Internet or online gaming addiction. In a country that sees about 80% of its young population suffering from a desire to constantly be online, and that has a total population of 450 million people, online gaming is without a doubt a growing problem in China.
So is there harm in kids spending a lot of time online? What about Li Meng’s lifestyle choice? Is he hurting anyone? Is he hurting himself?
Behavioral addictions seem much harder to define than substance addictions, don’t they? If someone is drinking to the point of intoxication every night, and has been arrested for drunk driving, and has been abusive to family members while drunk, that addiction to alcohol is clearly harmful to the person who is drinking, and to those around the alcoholic. But what about someone like Li Meng, or the millions of young people in China, and around the world, who are involved in various online activities a majority of their lives? The consequences and ramifications of an Internet or gaming addiction are not as clear.
No one who has been interviewed at the online cafe has really heard Li speak much, so it is not known what Li’s relationship is like with his family. It can be assumed that if Li is basically living at the cafe, and people do not see his family with him, then his relationship with family members must be at least somewhat estranged.
Internet and online gaming addiction diagnosis can follow the general umbrella criteria that are used to identify a drug addiction.
Has the individual experienced a loss of control over use of a substance or over a behavior?
Is the person obsessed with use of a substance, or with engagement in a behavior?
Does the individual continue to use even after experiencing negative consequences directly, or indirectly, from the use of a substance, or the involvement in a behavior?
Even when the problem is evident, is the person still in denial?
Is a powerful tendency to relapse his or her reality? Has the person tried to stop or slow down use of a substance or frequency of a behavior, but the use also returns?
What makes a relationship really official? Facebook!
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn each put a message up on Facebook confirming the rumors of their relationship. Not that it was a secret, but the couple felt it was time to let the world know that the two are an item.
If you remember back to 2009 when Tiger fist got busted for cheating on his then wife Elin, the media was going crazy with reports of all kinds. Alleged mistresses and lovers were coming forward, different places were listed that Tiger Woods had been spotted with so and so, and other celebrities were weighing in on the situation, as if they knew what is going on. People love to chime in on the distress of others, and ironically enough, Lindsey Vonn was no different.
In 2010, Lindsey was quoted in Time magazine mocking Tiger Woods and his indiscretions. She was quoted as saying, “Yeah, you’re awesome, you go have that sex.” and “There’s something you don’t know about me. Tiger, you’re like my idol, and I too have a sex problem.” She even had a little Saturday Night Live sketch idea that made fun of the way Tiger announced what was going on with him and his marriage and how he apologized publicly for it.
She was with a group of friends after an Olympic event, just enjoying some down time, and was overheard making the jokes. She did not go out of her way to make a public statement, or to openly express her opinions of Tiger Woods, so it seems he was not too upset by it.
Although Lindsey Vonn was not the only one to make light of Tiger Woods’ sex addiction, it certainly is humorous that the two are now dating, especially since they were both married at the time. Within the two years after the scandal and Lindsey’s comment, each were going through a formal divorce. Lindsey is the first woman Tiger has been in a relationship with since his marriage to Elin.
It appears that since the two are high-profile athletes, they have an understanding of where the other person is coming from, and there is a mutual respect for the level of competition within their individuals sports that the other has reached. So does Lindsey respect Tiger’s sex addiction? Does she take it seriously? She does not seem to have made any further public comments about it, but she must now understand the extent of a sex addiction if she is in a committed relationship with someone who has been formally diagnosed and treated for one.
Tiger Woods was cheating on his wife. He got caught. Does that make him a sex addict? Maybe, but is most important is that he got the help he needed to stop engaging in behaviors that were destructive to himself, to his profession, to his wife, to his family, and to his public image.
For many people who have become involved in similar situations, and who end up losing everything that once meant something to them, rehab has provided the environment that allows them to change and choose a different way of life. It appears to have done the same for Tiger Woods. If he is choosing to be monogamous and he is carrying that out, then he is honoring his commitment when not too long ago he was not living with the same integrity.
Formal treatment for sex and love addiction can help you, or a loved one, figure out how to go about making the desired changes that can lead to a more satisfying life.
An individual treatment plan identifies your unique set of needs in treatment so you can learn the most helpful coping skills and strategies for handling difficult cravings and triggers, and start your road to recovery from a harmful addiction.
The intensive outpatient program at The Control Center does just that. Contact the center today to find out more!
Heroin, cocaine, alcohol, and relationships. Do you feel like one of these is not like the other?
You may be surprised to find out that all four of these “substances,” along with gambling, Internet activity, shopping, eating, and many more behaviors can all be equally detrimental when they have reached the point of addiction.
Are you a relationship addict? Do you have an intimacy disorder, or an attachment disorder? Let’s find out together.
The following questions are drawn from information in the book, Addicted to Love, by Stephen Arterburn.
Were you abandoned or rejected in some way as a child?
Have you been the victim of physical, emotional, or sexual abuse?
Do you feel unloved by the world at large and by everyone around you?
Are you constantly feeling overwhelmed by the requirements of everyday life?
Do you worry constantly? Are you fearful of daily events?
Have you set standards for yourself that are too high to ever attain?
Do you feel you must be perfect to ever be “good enough” for someone else to truly love you? Are feelings of inadequacy real for you?
Have you attempted to fix someone you’ve been romantically involved with?
Are you staying with partners for too long in an effort to save them?
Do you find yourself attracted to needy people? Does their neediness make you feel like they will not leave you, and you will not get hurt?
Are you attracted to emotionally abusive or distant people?
Does an emotionally-stable person make you anxious or uncomfortable? Does it scare you to think of being in a relationship with someone healthy who would be strong enough to live without your love?
Have you attached to partners quickly? Does attraction lead right to a relationship?
Do you stay with a partner because it is better to be with them, then to be alone?
In comparison to those you’ve dated, do you seem like the emotionally-stable person? Does that bring you joy or comfort in any way?
Do you walk on eggshells, hiding your own opinion about things, to keep the other person calm and happy?
Can you honestly say that your efforts to help a partner are selfless, or do your actions in some way always serve you and your need to be loved?
Are you aware of your own needs? Do you need to be needed?
After periods of keeping your emotions and opinions bottled up, do you lash out with anger? Are outbursts followed by guilt, remorse, and a need to mend the relationship? Why? Fear of abandonment?
Are you afraid to ask anyone at all for help with relationships?
Does it cause great internal discomfort to think about someone helping you? Does it make you feel “less than”?
Do you sometimes think that you will never find a truly loving relationship?
Does every new and exciting relationship make you think things will be different this time? Are they ever different?
If anything goes wrong in a relationship, do you blame yourself?
Do you feel like an outcast?
Think about your last relationship: did you appear subservient and giving, but really you held all the power and control?
Do you feel like you’re on a never ending search for happiness?
Does conflict in a relationship cause you to shut down and become depressed?
When you are not in a relationship, do you find yourself engaging in compulsive behaviors? (gambling, eating, shopping, etc.)
Do you doubt every decision you make, even down to the smallest, everyday tasks?
Are you constantly guessing what your partner wants so that you don’t have to ask? Does it make you feel like a better partner if you guess correctly?
If you have difficulty expressing your own needs, do you eventually get angry with a partner for not knowing what you need and not fulfilling your needs?
Could you possibly be trying to compensate for what you did not get as a child, by manipulating others to get what you want?
Do you act strong to compensate for a weakness?
Whether you answer yes or no to these questions may not matter. It is more important to explore how answering these questions made you feel.
What thoughts, feelings, and reactions surfaced for you?
If you are a relationship addict, or if you have an intimacy or an attachment disorder, you are not alone. If you have come to the end of your own strength, you need help, and that is okay.
If you went to college, chances are you knew someone who was using Adderall to study; it may have been you. The drug is a stimulant, meaning it makes your brain and body feel like there is more energy present.
Like many who started the use of Adderall in college, author Kate Miller opens up about her own Adderall addiction. During her senior year, she recounts trouble concentrating so she and a friend found a guy in the dorms who sold Adderall. The drug changed her life. Kate could study and write papers for hours on end without taking any breaks.
After finishing college, she took a job with a law firm in Manhattan, New York. The hours were long and the work was intense, so she felt it was time to get her own prescription of Adderall. Kate found a doctor who agreed with her self-diagnosed disorder, and she got 60 pills of Adderall after each appointment.
Instead of just using her new prescription for work focusing purposes though, Kate says that she began taking Adderall every night, which sometimes required drinking heavily to come down from the drug’s stimulation.
When she left the law firm, and the health insurance benefits that can with it, Kate would refill her Adderall prescription instead of buying groceries. The abuse was in full swing. When she went nights without sleeping, because of Adderall use the day before, Kate would just pop an Adderall pill with her morning coffee and go about her day. She was performing well at work, and maintaining an active social life.
At the time, she recalls thinking that this lifestyle would make for great stories one day, but as she wrote in her New York Times article, “The problem was, it stopped being a persona, and became who I was as a person: uninspired, unproductive and miserable.” She goes on to say that Adderall went from. “The take–as–needed-to-manage-boatloads-of-work basis” to the “need-to-get-through-the-day mood stabilizer.”
After a wild night out with an old friend, Kate recognized the problem. The friend asked what was going on with Kate, which jolted her to see herself as she really was, and to break down crying, and then to flush the rest of her Adderall.
The ensuing months were extremely difficult, as is true for any addict that gets clean. The chemical imbalance is obvious in mood, energy level, and behavior. Eventually everything recalibrates and you can feel back to “normal,” but some of the effects can be more long-term.
In the case of Adderall, and other stimulant drugs, depression can be very real. Your body and brain were falsely energized by the substance for a long time and now that the drug is no longer in your system, the inner workings have to re-learn how to stimulate themselves. What was up, must come down, so to speak.
Although Kate Miller does not mention rehab in her story of Adderall addiction, for many people, treatment is the only way to truly heal from an addiction. Learning how to live a life without the drug that has aided your daily functioning for an extended period of time is difficult, but can be done with the assistance of trained professionals. The treatment team in a good rehab facility will work with you each day, focusing on your individually unique set of needs.
An alternative to months at an inpatient rehab program is the intensive outpatient treatment program at The Control Center, which allows you to continue working, going to school, taking care of a family, or any other responsibilities you simply cannot leave.
Even after thinking she needed Adderall to function and to be successful in the working world of New York City, Kate Miller changed her life and stopped abusing her drug of choice. Do the same for yourself, or for someone you love.
Prescription drugs + pro football players = a problem!
The NFL (the National Football League) has not been identified in the same way as baseball and steroids, but new reports are surfacing that prescription drug abuse is a major problem among the league’s players.
If you think about it, these are grown men who are putting their body through physically grueling games and practices every week for 17 weeks (with one week off per team.) The amount of injuries, even seemingly small, require a certain level of pain management. Many players would not be able to continue performing at the high level that the NFL demands without a weekly pain reduction.
Also, just from playing in a game, without any actual injuries caused, takes a brutal toll on the body. Recovering from such a high-impact sport can take most of the week, and then there is another game, and that does not include any practices. So, to be game-ready within 6 days, most players are prescribed various medications, whether for pain or for overall physical recuperation.
The problem: the medications prescribed, and most notably prescription painkillers, are among the most addictive of any substance around. Over-the-counter pain medications do not even begin to alleviate the pain these men are experiencing, and the dosage a 250-pound linebacker would have to ingest to feel any pain relief could send his liver into immediate shock.
Another part of the problem is that prescription painkillers do not just kill physical pain. Any emotional or psychological pain is also dulled, or completely relieved. What has happened to many NFL players is that when a physical injury has healed and the pain is no longer present, the lack of the prescription painkiller causes more than just a physical craving. Psychologically the person still wants the effects of the medication. All pain feels much more intense when it has been absent for an extended period of time.
Several well-known NFL players have become addicted to prescriptions like Vicodin, OxyContin, Percocet, Norco, codeine, or morphine. A study out of the school of medical at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, found that 52% of the NFL players who were surveyed, had used opiates (or opioids) during his career, and of those men, 71% self-reported “misuse” of the prescription painkillers.
A few players came out to say that pain, playing through pain, and doing what you have to do to overcome pain, is an understood part of the professional football player’s job description. Your career may be short, and there are younger guys always waiting to take your position.
A real danger among professional football players is the combination of prescription painkillers with anti-inflammatory medications like Toradol. The effects of each drug, even when taken at separate times, run the full spectrum on the body and brain. Toradol is injected directly into a muscle for best results, and longest pain management. Players even report taking Toradol in pill form every Sunday, just in case an injury happened during the game.
Is prescription drug abuse rampant in the NFL because it has to be, or will people continue to be negatively affected long-term, leading the league to do something about the drug problem? The team physician for the St. Louis Rams has discontinued use of Toradol for his players. Will other teams follow suit?
Several team physicians say that the pain is real, and if the team doctor can not help manage the pain, the players will seek relief elsewhere, and what will they find? Instead of worrying about what drugs the players will take, at least the substances prescribed in-house are controlled.
What can be done to offer players quick pain relief, but in a way that will not lead to an addiction? It seems a solution is still to be determined.
For players who need to continue playing and training, but who want to stop abusing drugs, and for anyone cannot afford to be away from life, the intensive outpatient program at The Control Center is the solution. There are other ways to address pain, and to heal from whatever lead to a prescription drug addiction.
Although you can’t drink, smoke, or snort a video game, studies show they may be as addictive as drugs and alcohol.
Video game usage affects the same part of the brain as drugs and alcohol, so it’s no wonder that so many people become addicted to playing video games for hours on end. The same patterns that lead to a substance addiction are the same ones that lead someone to a gaming addiction.
As is also true of drugs and alcohol, the age of first use of video games plays a big part in how the patterns develop and potentially progress into an addiction. The pleasure center of the brain responds to video games as if they are a drug, so the chance of kids and young adults developing an addiction to them is high. Many stories come out that kids, who are otherwise well-behaved, begin acting out or becoming violent when they are not allowed to play their video game, or games, of choice any longer.
Does this sound like a drug addict? Similar reaction as a heroin addict who cannot seem to find his next fix? Or even like a young child when his favorite toy gets taken away? This reaction in someone playing video games is just like an addict or alcoholic going through withdrawal from his or her drug, or drugs, of choice.
One new study has yielded results that show that playing video games can be as addictive as drugs. Games like Call of Duty are never finished, unlike arcade games and others that have a win or loss feature to them. The open-opened nature of the games can create an insatiable desire to continue playing. When the game never ends, anyone playing can find that hours have gone by in what felt like a matter of minutes.
The frequency of use, the amount of use, and the denial of the problem caused by use of video games are ways to detect an addiction. Identifying the symptoms of a problem early offers the best chance at treatment. Although video games do not cause the same internal physical damage that drugs and alcohol create, the consequences and repercussions can be just as harmful to someone’s life as injecting substances of any kind.
Generally, an addiction to anything is an indicator of deeper lying mental issues. Depression, anxiety, a learning disorder, and the inability to connect with others to form healthy interpersonal relationship can all be masked by video game addiction, drug and alcohol addiction, gambling, shopping, an eating disorder, a sex or love addiction, or an Internet addiction. Playing video games alone can be a way to escape from difficult social situations, or to avoid homework because it is too difficult to concentrate long enough to complete.
As a behavioral addiction, further research is needed to fully understand the cause, effect, and best treatment of video game addiction.
Programs to treat video game addiction focus on the underlying issues that lead to the desire to escape from, cover up, or avoid in the first place. While in treatment, an individualized treatment plan allows each client to identify any mental illness, learning disability, or another addiction that is at play.
Not all video game addicts have a diagnosable mental illness disorder, but most have an underlying psychological issue that needs to be explored.
During treatment, a video game addict learns tools for handling difficult situations that used to lead right to video game use. Triggering events can be better handled at home, at work, or at school while the person is attending treatment services. Psychological cravings will continue to occur, probably forever, and a good rehab program will help each client develop a plan for when they do. Coping skills for frustrating or emotionally complex situations gives a prior addict a chance at a life without a video game addiction.
As situations present themselves, and the person faces them head on, the newly learned tools and skills can be tried, and whether immediately successful or not, the client can discuss with his or her individual counselor, plus the fellow rehab clients and members of the sober community. Real-time processing can keep a young addict from returning to the problematic behaviors.
An intensive outpatient treatment program, like the one offered at The Control Center, gives an addict the opportunity to practice new skills while still involved in his or her everyday life. Contact the treatment team today at 877.813.2974 today to find out more!
photo credit: Rakka via photopincc