Why Teens Bury Their Worries In Video Games
Sundance Canyon Academy provides a supportive, therapeutic environment for teens struggling with anxiety and depression. Teens who bury their worries in video games may seem lazy, but there are often much deeper issues to blame. By surrounding the students with counselors trained in positive intervention techniques, teens benefit more from therapeutic boarding schools than the harsh environment at teen boot camps. Call us today to find out if our school is a good fit for your son.
Video games have evolved significantly in the past few decades. Gone are the days of playing Tetris and Super Mario Bros with friends at home. Today’s video games are much more detailed and realistic. They have immersive worlds with lengthy backstories and plot lines that keep the players involved in the game. Players can take ownership of their characters and spend hours buried in their digitized worlds. For teens who struggle to connect with their peers in the real world, the immersive world of video games can be extremely appealing.
Signs that your teen is spending too much time playing video games
Many parents feel like their teens spend too much time playing video games. However, this is not a new sensation. Since the invention of video games, parents have worried about the amount of time their kids spend playing video games instead of playing in real life.
Here are a few signs that your teen might be spending too much time playing video games:
– Prioritizing video games instead of seeing friends in real life
If your teen stops hanging out with their friends in real life or stops participating in social events so that they can play video games, they might have a problem.
– Losing sleep because they stay up late playing video games
Teens will often try to stay up late into the night playing video games, even if they have school the next day. If your teen is tired at school because they stayed up too late playing video games, it’s time to step in to set time limits for the games.
– Schoolwork and housework not being completed because they’re playing video games
If your teen is so focused on playing video games that they stop following through with their responsibilities, they might be developing a video game addiction.
Mental Health Problems and Video Games
Most people who play video games never cross over into video game addiction. However, teens who have mental health problems, especially some personality disorders, are more suscpetable to video game addiction. They tend to burry their worries in video games rather than facing their struggles and learning healthy coping strategies.
Teens who have Avoidant Personality Disorder (APD) experience a great deal of fear and anxiety around social situations. While it’s common for teens to be a little anxious about social situations, APD goes beyond a healthy level of anxiety. Teens who have APD experience an intense fear of rejection that prevents them from making interpersonal connections with their peers. It can cause their emotional reactions to swing from one extreme to the other, making it even more difficult to connect with people.
While all gamers don’t have APD, teens with APD do tend to gravitate toward video games. Plenty of people enjoy playing video games and the camaraderie that comes with it, especially now that gamers can play together over the internet. Playing video games can be a great form of stress relief when it is used appropriately. However, many people with APD bury themselves in video games as a way to escape the real world. It’s easier to interact with other people through characters in a game than it is to interact in real life.
How to help teens who spend too much time playing video games
If you are concerned that your teen son is burning his worries in video games and is missing out on the real world, consider intervening. If he is simply spending a little too much time on video games, try implementing household rules around game time and real-life time. Talk to him about your concerns and your expectations as a parent. Allow enough time for him to blow off steam and play games with his friends, but set clear limits.
If your son already struggles with social anxiety and has trouble relating to people in the real world, you may need a stronger intervention. Therapy could help your son address the underlying issues and help him develop more confidence to live life in the real world. Contact us today to find out if our therapeutic boarding school could benefit your son.