The game, as psychologists say, is the main activity of the child. It is in it that children develop physically and intellectually, learn social interaction with peers and all other tricks that will later help them in adulthood. But what if instead of hide-and-seek, games of daughter-mothers and Cossack robbers, your child “cuts” exclusively into computer “walkers” and “shooters”? About the dangers of gadgets for the health and psyche of children (and adults) told psychiatrist, psychotherapist at the University Clinical Hospital No. I. M. Sechenova, Candidate of Medical Sciences Inna Parkhomenko.

computer addicts

Ophthalmologists have been trumpeting about the negative impact of a computer and a tablet (and even more so a smartphone) on vision for a long time. Gadgets harm not only the eyes, but the whole body. Children for whom the telephone has “replaced nature” suffer from hypodynamia and hypoxia. But the main targets, of course, are the nervous system and the brain. Not without reason, recently, doctors have even begun to talk about digital dementia.

Game addiction – gambling, or ludomania (from the Latin ludo – “I play”), is characterized by uncontrolled psychological dependence on computer games. According to the American Psychiatric Association, the mechanism of the onset of this disease, its forms of development and clinical stages are largely identical to those observed in people who use cocaine. Sitting at the computer, players fall into a gaming trance – a state comparable to the effect of hard drugs. The craving for artificial reality is so strong that a person gradually loses interest in ordinary life.

Of course, there are benefits in computer games: they help relieve internal stress, improve coordination, memory, and reaction. The main thing is that the game does not turn from an “hour of fun” into a basic vital need. Too much enthusiasm for virtual games, especially in childhood and adolescence, can lead to serious problems, for example, to form an asocial and aggressive personality with an unstable psyche. It is not for nothing that most of the “shooters” who staged massacres in schools and other public places preferred virtual communication to real ones for a long time.

Finished the game?

According to statistics, only 0.2% of all gamers become gamers. In addition, a strong passion for video games can be temporary. Perhaps your loved one just turned up an interesting “toy” and got excited to go through it immediately. To make a diagnosis of gambling addiction, the patient must be observed for a year. But if there are suspicions, it is better to take a closer look to see if the person has some alarming symptoms.

Lack of control in the game. If a child sacrifices study, food and sleep in the name of the game, one must ring the bells.

If the game becomes the only topic of conversation, and everything else is ignored and does not arouse interest, this is bad. The disappearance of friends is also a dangerous bell.

There is a pronounced withdrawal syndrome (withdrawal syndrome). A child or an adult becomes himself only at the computer. When playing, he is full of vivacity and strength. After all, during a tense game, hormones of pleasure are released – endorphins. Without a game, a person is irritated, aggressive or apathetic, complains of a headache.

Health problems appeared that were not there before. When playing, the body experiences a lot of stress, so it is quickly depleted. Because of this, gamers often begin to suffer from nightmares, insomnia, hypertension, their activity of the cardiovascular system is disrupted, and there is a tendency to depression and psychosis.

Who is guilty?

Pathological addiction to the game is obsessed, as a rule, not at all by aggressive personalities, but by quiet people, people with low self-esteem, insecure and dissatisfied with their lives, lonely, suffering from the fact that they are not understood and not accepted either in the team or even at home. . Children run away to the game from parents who are either overly strict or indifferent to them. Often, children from those families where there is visible prosperity, but there is absolutely no communication inside, become gamers. Parents are only concerned that the child be dressed, shod, fed, and what is going on in his soul and heart, they have no idea.

What to do?

It is useless to resort to suggestion, educational conversations, threats, blackmail when it comes to the formation of gambling addiction. It’s time to contact a psychotherapist or psychiatrist. Treatment of gambling addiction is both medication and psychotherapeutic (may include individual and group psychotherapy). The standard therapy for this disease has not yet been developed, but since gambling addiction is in many ways similar to needle addiction, the treatment methods are similar – isolation from the computer, psychotherapy, hypnosis, antipsychotics. In extreme cases, resort to hospitalization.

But a lot also depends on the family. First of all, it is important to return the joys of the real world to a person who has fallen into a virtual quagmire. It’s easier with kids. They can be taken to the theater, circus, rides, taken on a fishing trip, enrolled in a section, a circle. It is more difficult with teenagers and adults. You will have to listen carefully to their problems and help to establish lost contact both within the family and with others. If gambling has sucked an adult, it is important to figure out what is to blame: problems in your personal life, an unloved job, or something else. Pulling a person out of computer captivity is not easy, you have to work hard with motivation