If you decide that your teen’s screen time has gone from excessive to problematic, it may be time to seek treatment. Every individual is different and has different needs. Your child’s internet or video game addiction treatment options will depend on the following factors:
- Type of diagnosis your child receives or issue(s) he/she is facing
- The extent of his/her symptoms
- Your child’s age, health, and medical history
- Your preference(s)
- Your child’s response to clinical/behavioral intervention
- Your child’s response to certain medication(s) and/or therapies
While every individual is different, here are some common, effective internet and video game addiction treatment options.
As discussed previously, teens who are escaping into the world of the internet and video games are likely experiencing an underlying mental health problem, neuro-developmental issue, or an unresolved conflict/trauma. Aside from uncovering any unresolved issues or diagnoses, counseling helps teens develop healthy coping mechanisms to deal with unpleasant emotions, rather than using video games or the internet as an escape or crutch.
Medication (depending on diagnosis)
Depending on your child’s diagnosis, he or she may be prescribed medication to help with any underlying mental health struggles. Some teens who are diagnosed with depression are too young for certain antidepressants and some teens with ADHD do not respond as well to stimulant medications. It is important to find a mental health provider who has years of experience working with teens to ensure that your child receives adequate treatment.
Sometimes, when traditional talk therapy isn’t enough, a residential treatment program may be required for your teen. While there are a plethora of residential treatment programs qualified to help your child, it is important to do your research and find a credible program. One residential treatment option that has proven especially effective at helping teens overcome internet and video game addiction or abuse is wilderness therapy. If you are at a loss of where to start, an educational consultant can help you find a reputable program that suits your child’s particular needs. Even though sending your child away for treatment may be difficult, doing the best thing for your son or daughter is not always the easy thing.
Download our free white paper, WIRED: Helping Your Teen Unplug from the Digital World, to learn more about internet and video game addiction treatment.