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Video Game Addiction in Teens : Effects on the Teen Brain

Video Game Addiction in Teens : Effects on the Teen Brain

Most parents are used to seeing glowing screens as they walk by their teenager’s room. Whether it’s checking Facebook in the morning or playing Call of Duty late into the night, our children’s brains are being constantly stimulated by these devices. Research shows that teens are spending up to eight hours on electronic devices every day, and that amount of use can lead to video addiction in teens.

What Happens to the Brain While Gaming

Intense action and shooting games tap into the fight or flight response in teen’s brains. The overload of stimuli causes stress to increase and this hyperarousal leaves the teen mentally depleted.
This can cause lead to a shortened attention span, impulsiveness, and lowered ability to deal with frustration. As parents, we remember what it’s like to have an overstimulated toddler. Meltdowns and tantrums galore. But we can sometimes forget that older kids can be overstimulated too. Have you ever noticed your teen’s behavior after a particularly long gaming session? Chances are they act groggy or short tempered.

Signs of Video Game Addiction in Teens

Do you ever find yourself dreading the battle of asking your teen to turn off their game at the end of the evening? Are they overly emotional and adamant that they need to get to the next level? This may be a sign of video game addiction. Some of the other signs and symptoms may be:

  1. Fatigue
  2. Migraines
  3. Lying about the amount of time they’re playing video games
  4. Isolation from others to spend more time gaming.
  5. Feeling restless or irritable when unable to play


How Trails Carolina Can Help

If you feel that video addiction in teens is something your family may be struggling with, Trails Carolina can help.
Trails Carolina is a wilderness therapy program for struggling teens, ages 10-17. Our students commonly deal with issues such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, trauma, and other behavioral challenges.
For more information  about Trails Carolina, please call 800-975-7303 today.