Playing screen-based games and in particular internet games such as Massive Multiplayer On-line Role Playing Games (MMORPG) are popular worldwide and many millions of people get a lot of pleasure from playing them. Some people however, have a particular nature that makes them more vulnerable than others to the risk of a dependency on gaming.
At Broadway Lodge we treat gaming in a similar way to other addictions with abstinence as the main goal. Experiencing failure to cut down, control or stop playing games in the past leads us to believe that for this group of people, stopping completely is the best way to manage the problem and avoid the difficulties that have resulted.
Some of the problems experienced as a consequence of a dependence on gaming, might include problems with health, personal care, education attainment, ability to concentrate or relationship difficulties. These problems may have become progressively worse as more and more time is spent gaming.
Other people are often the ones to become aware of the problem first and may have tried in vain and with an increasing amount of anger and frustration to try and help 'gamers' to control or to stop. In treatment they will have the chance through individual counselling and groupwork, to explore their inability to control the gaming behaviours, attitudes and the impact it has had on their life and on the lives of people around them. Treatment will also focus on the changes needed to support recovery which may include consideration of other activities, routines and the development of better social skills.
Towards the end of treatment a re-introduction to computer use and support to manage a more productive use of it will be explored. Whilst we recognise that the use of computers and other hardware are important features of modern life and difficult to live without, we want the client to have greater control and choices now in recovery. Prior to discharge an aftercare plan with guidance on risk factors and how to deal with them will be provided along with help in identifying additional support needs.