Over DOS –
April 19, 2018 – The recommended treatment for patients with “Internet Gaming Disorder” is 90 days away from the devices or technology they developed an addiction to. After that time, doctors said patients can be re-introduced to what devices they couldn’t leave alone to see if further treatment is needed. Most recently, a video game that hit the market last fall called Fortnite is pulling in teenagers by the millions. The game growing in popularity is so addictive, many teens can’t put down their controllers or phones. Dr. Thurstone said teens ages 16-17 are the most at risk for developing gaming addiction; Citing studies showing 5.5% of teens have problems with using the Internet too much and males are five times more likely to develop this type of addiction than females. Dr. Thurstone also cited new research showing Internet gaming can light up the center of the brain that addictive drugs light up as well. “There’s a common pathway that lights up when people are using too much internet and using too much of a substance. You start to see there is the biological that starts to go along with what you see in front of you and you start to see that it’s probably a real thing,” said Dr. Thurstone. Doctors said parents should step in if they notice their kids are spending a majority of their time gaming, especially if their usage is in the 8-10 hour range. Also, be aware if kids are giving up sleep, not caring about school or homework and becoming disconnected from friends and family. These are all warning signs they could be developing an unhealthy addiction to gaming. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends a maximum of two hours of screen time per day.