Video Game Addiction in Children May Lead to Gambling
The Link Between Video Gaming & Gambling
Today, video games can be found almost everywhere — computers, home consoles, smart phones, and even tablets. [Online] gaming has become very popular, especially when social media sites popped up one by one during the last decade. I personally approve of a number of gaming breakthroughs because I enjoy playing video games since time immemorial. I’m also an introvert so social gaming sort of helps me to easily connect with people virtually.
As a parent, I’m aware of positive and negative effects these games have on my kids. I know how it feels like to become addicted to a video game and I know how unhealthy it would be for my children to become obsessed with gaming as well.
My 5-year old son sometimes cries whenever I don’t allow him to use the iPad, and often times he would ask me to buy apps for him to play. I’ve already set limits when it comes to using tablets and computers, and now his mood is more manageable whenever I tell him that he has to stop at a certain time and/or take breaks to make room for more important activities, like studying and playing outdoors.
The realization that my son already wants to pay for an app and get game upgrades in exchange for real money led me to research about the real effect of excessive video gaming to children. An article by Telegraph.co.uk [about video game addiction] says, “Children who love video games have brains like gamblers.” There is no formal diagnosis for video game addiction, but gambling? Sounds alarming to me.
The same article also added that children who “spend more time playing on their computer had more grey matter in a part of the brain which is rich in dopamine, a chemical which makes us feel pleasure and reward.” Video games are addictive because children feel that the activity is extremely rewarding and fun. There are also quite a number of gambling-related apps and games available for kids – bingo, slots, and casino games. These may be grooming kids to be future gamblers later in life.
Video game addiction in children is a serious matter that shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s not only that we should become aware of this threat, but we must also act upon every addiction sign/symptom accordingly. Therefore, it is our responsibility to supervise and support our children regarding this issue.
Sober Living Homes: Path to Freedom & Happiness
Here in the Philippines, gambling addiction usually starts during the adolescent stage. Once the addiction takes hold of the person’s way of life throughout adulthood, the cycle becomes difficult to break.
Gambling is not only restricted to card, casinos, and slot machines. Other forms of gambling include making a bet with a friend, entering a raffle, and purchasing a lottery ticket. Engaging with excessive gambling may cause anxiety and depression, financial ruin, and damaged relationships.
We are all aware about rehabilitation centers being popular for treatment of several addiction problems, but there are also alternative facilities that provide a less intensive recovery experience, like sober living homes.
Halfway House on Bliss is a recovery facility which promotes responsible & sober living to all patients. In this facility, patients are given more freedom but at the same time, are required to follow certain rules and contribute to chores. It is located in a peaceful environment that is perfect for recovery.
Halfway House on Bliss has a team of addiction specialists. They help design a personalized plan for treatment and transformation. Treatment methods include spiritual meetings & religious programs, holistic programs, support meetings, group & individual counseling, etc.
They are also affiliated with Gamblers Anonymous, an international fellowship (support group) aimed to help people with gambling problems. They hold regular meetings at Makati Medical Center and Bo’s Coffee Shop, Glorietta 5.