Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health

Simcoe Addiction & Mental Health

Video Game Addiction Treatment

Overview: Video Game Addiction Treatment In Ontario

Video game addiction is a real and growing issue that affects individuals of all ages worldwide. It is characterized by excessive and compulsive use of video games, leading to significant disruptions in personal, familial, social, educational, and professional spheres. At Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health, we recognize the challenges many face and how severe the impact on day-to-day life can be.

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What is a Video Game Addiction?

Video game addiction, also known as gaming disorder, is a behavioural addiction characterized by excessive and compulsive use of video games. Individuals with this disorder often spend countless hours playing video games, neglecting other aspects of their lives, such as work, school, relationships, and even their health.

Causes of Video Game Addiction

The appeal of escape, the pleasure of success, or the community character of gaming are all elements that contribute to this addiction. However, the consequences are far-reaching, with the most prevalent being physical health decline, mental health issues such as sadness and anxiety, and hampered social connections.

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Video Game Addiction Symptoms

The symptoms of video game addiction can be both physical and psychological. Check for these qualities in yourself or in a loved one, be it a partner, a child, or a friend. 

According to the Diagnositic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) criteria, a person has a problem with Video Game Addiction if they exhibit five or more of the following symptoms over the course of one year:

  • Thinking about gaming all or a lot of the time
  • Feeling bad when you can’t play
  • Needing to spend more and more time playing to feel good
  • Not being able to quit or even play less
  • Not wanting to do other things that you used to like
  • Having problems at work, school, or home because of your gaming
  • Playing despite these problems
  • Lying to people close to you about how much time you spend playing
  • Using gaming to ease bad moods and feelings

Video Game Addiction Treatment

Simcoe Addiction and Mental Health has inpatient and outpatient therapy sessions that can help patients overcome video game addiction. Our therapists specialize in teaching effective communication skills. These professionals also provide effective self-help tools to complement our video addiction treatment process.

Our Three-Step Process

Our team of highly skilled therapists can also help patients manage their triggers with a three-step process.

  1. The first part entails identifying the people, places and things that can lead to a relapse.
  2. The second phase helps patients by teaching them how to avoid these trigger situations.
  3. Coping is another aspect. This technique is designed to alleviate and address the emotions and different thoughts that lead to substance abuse.


Clients might need to enter our detoxification facility for an amount of time. The experience each client has at this stage of recovery is different. The length of any withdrawal can depend on a series of factors that include the amount of time any addiction has gone on for and the severity of it.

Long-Term Recovery Plan

Our team also takes on a thorough review of their psychiatric, medical and drug histories. This helps us put together an effective long-term recovery plan. A video game addiction is a horrible affliction that can cause damage to the relationships between addicts, their friends, coworkers and families.

We help patients to determine their unique and specific video game addiction rehab in Ontario goals. These should include focusing on any medical conditions or other underlying issues at the same time.



The intensity of video game addiction can majorly impact a person’s life. Recognizing the signs and seeking assistance is essential if you or someone dear to you is wrestling with this addiction. Always remember initiating the process toward recovery is possible at any stage.

Frequently Asked Questions: Video Game Addiction

Video games can impact mental health in various ways. They can provide stress relief and social interaction, potentially improving mood and reducing anxiety. However, excessive gaming can lead to addictive behaviours, social isolation, and increased aggression. It’s crucial to maintain a balanced approach to gaming for optimal mental health.

Video games can positively affect mental health by providing stress relief, enhancing problem-solving skills, and fostering social connections. They can also boost mood, improve hand-eye coordination, and potentially enhance cognitive functions like memory and attention. Additionally, video games can offer a safe space for self-expression and exploration. However, moderation is key to reap these benefits.

Video games can negatively impact mental health if not consumed in moderation. Excessive gaming can lead to addictive behaviours, causing neglect of personal and professional responsibilities. It can also result in social isolation, increased aggression, and sleep disturbances. Furthermore, exposure to violent content may desensitize individuals to real-world violence. It’s important to balance gaming with other healthy lifestyle habits.

Game addicts often exhibit characteristics such as spending excessive time playing games, neglecting personal and professional responsibilities, experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not gaming, and unsuccessful attempts to quit or reduce gaming. They may also prioritize gaming over other interests, continue gaming despite negative consequences, and use gaming as a method to escape from real-world problems. It’s important to seek professional help if these signs are observed.

The root cause of gaming addiction can vary and often involves a combination of factors. These can include psychological factors like low self-esteem, depression, or anxiety, where gaming serves as an escape mechanism. The addictive design of many games, which often reward players for time spent playing, can also contribute. Additionally, social factors, such as peer pressure or lack of alternative recreational activities, can play a role. It’s a complex issue that often requires professional help to address.

When addicted to video games, your brain undergoes changes similar to drug addiction. The reward system gets overstimulated, releasing dopamine, a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure. Over time, the brain requires more stimulation to experience the same level of pleasure, leading to increased gaming. Additionally, the prefrontal cortex, responsible for decision-making and impulse control, may become less active, making it harder to resist the urge to game.

Excessive video gaming can potentially lead to symptoms of depression. Spending long hours in isolation, neglecting other activities, and experiencing sleep disturbances due to gaming can contribute to feelings of sadness, low energy, and disinterest in daily life. However, it’s important to note that while gaming can exacerbate existing conditions, it’s not typically the sole cause of depression. Always consult a healthcare professional if you’re experiencing depressive symptoms.

While there’s no definitive number, spending more than 3-4 hours a day on gaming could be considered excessive and potentially unhealthy. This can vary depending on the individual’s lifestyle, age, and overall health. It’s important to balance gaming with other activities like physical exercise, social interaction, and adequate sleep. If gaming interferes with daily responsibilities or personal well-being, it may be time to reassess gaming habits.

Yes, 7 hours of gaming a day can be considered excessive for most individuals. Such prolonged periods can interfere with important daily activities, such as work, school, physical exercise, social interaction, and sleep. It can also potentially lead to physical discomfort and mental health issues. It’s crucial to maintain a balanced lifestyle, ensuring gaming doesn’t overshadow other aspects of life.

Symptoms of excessive gaming can include physical discomfort like eye strain, headaches, and poor posture. Mentally, it can lead to irritability, restlessness, and difficulty concentrating. Other signs are neglect of personal and professional responsibilities, loss of interest in other activities, disrupted sleep patterns, and social withdrawal. If gaming becomes a method to escape real-world problems or if withdrawal symptoms occur when not gaming, these are also signs of excessive gaming.


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