Friday, June 21, 2024

Adhd And Video Game Addiction

Don't Miss

Tips For Managing Your Childs Screen Time

Why ADHD is Linked with Addiction

Whether or not your child has ADHD, actively working to manage their screen time has benefits for them, and for you. A few tips to help you set a screen time plan for your family:

1. Decide how much screen time you want your child to have daily, outside of school-related and educational screen time.

2. Have a family conversation in which you give your child an opportunity to tell you how much screen time they would like to have. It is important for your child to feel like they are a part of the conversation.

3. Decide on a baseline amount of screen time per week, and a bonus amount of screen time per week. The idea is that your child will get the baseline screen time each week no matter what, and can earn bonus screen time if they complete important tasks and responsibilities, like chores and homework.


Does Playing Video Games Cause Adhd

Theres no evidence that playing video games causes ADHD, but kids who game more often are more likely to develop symptoms later.

However, if your child doesnt have a diagnosis of ADHD, frequent gaming combined with other worrisome signs is a reason to ask for an evaluation.

More than 9 percent of kids living in the United States, ages 2 to 17, have been diagnosed with ADHD, according to a 2016 Centers for Disease Control Among these children, 6 out of 10 are taking medication for their ADHD, and about the same portion have other diagnosed emotional problems.

In July, a California team reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association that teens who are heavy users of digital devices are twice as likely as infrequent users to show ADHD symptoms in the future.

The team tracked nearly 2,600 teenagers in public schools in Los Angeles County for two years, after first eliminating any students who already showed symptoms of ADHD when the study began. The participants reported how often they used any of 14 different media platforms including games.

This study raises concern whether the proliferation of high-performance digital media technologies may be putting a new generation of youth at risk for ADHD, said study co-author Adam Leventhal, PhD, professor of preventive medicine and psychology at the University of Southern California.

What Did The Research Involve

This research included parents of 56 boys with ASD, 44 boys with ADHD, and 41 boys with normal development, who ranged in age from 8 to 18 years . Boys with ADHD and ASD had been recruited through paediatric medical centres, and all had confirmed diagnoses of these conditions.

Of the boys with ASD, just under half were diagnosed with autism, a quarter with Asperger syndrome, and the remainder had ASD not further specified.

Only four of the boys with ASD had an IQ of less than 70. Children with normal development were recruited through use of community flyers and word-of-mouth methods, and were reported by their parents to be free of these medical conditions.

Video game use was assessed by parent-completed questionnaire. Parents reported the number of hours per day their child spent playing video or computer games during out-of-school hours . Parents were also asked Does your child have a video game system in his room? in addition to being asked their childs three most commonly played games, which were grouped according to genre category .

Problematic video game use was assessed using a modified version of the Problem Video Game Playing Test . The original test was said to have been developed as a self-report measure based on a model previously used to assess other forms of addiction. A parent-report version had been modified for use with children.

Validated rating scales were used to measure current symptoms of ADHD and ASD .

Read Also: Why Do People Joke About Autism

The Positive Effects Of Video Game Play For People With Adhd

What makes video gaming appealing is how we can practice our visual imagination and creativity. Think Minecraft or Sims, where we have the opportunity to design our environment. Educational games can also be helpful for children and young adults with ADHD to help them sustain focus and make learning more fun and attractiveð. The good news is, many platforms for gaming target young children, like iPad apps designed to improve cognitive skills and help with problem-solving.

Some people may consider video game treatment a form of therapy because it can help people cope with their mental health issues. Many parents also allow their kids to play video games for a limited time because they understand that it can positively affect their childrenð§. Likewise, when parents play video games together with their children, it can be a form of bonding. Video gaming can also help improve the coordination between the mind and body. Role Playing Games or group strategy games can likewise serve as a form of social interaction for some people.

Another good thing about playing video games is that it can be played by anyone, at any age. There may be an increasing number of younger children permitted for video gaming. But more and more games are also being made for an older audience. Video game use doesn’t discriminate, which can be suitable for many people with ADHD who often feel like they don’t fit in.

Help My Child Is Addicted To Video Games

Pin on ADHD

Join the discussion.

Do you sometimes feel that youre losing your loved one to video games, that hes losing touch with the real world, or that his excessive use may be making his ADHD symptoms worse? How much is too much, and what can you do about it?

Although research is pointing toward an association between ADHD and video game overuse, a definite cause for overuse has not yet been determined. Nevertheless, studies do show that the problematic use of video games is creating stress between parents and children.

In the past decade, several research studies have taken up the question of video game addiction with compelling results.

T. Atilla Ceranoglu, MD, a child and adolescent psychiatrist in Massachusetts, has researched the use of video games in clinical practice for children and the effects of video games on their cognitive and attention skills. Working with children and teens, he has a strong interest in how video game overuse and ADHD can be related. Many of his patients affected by ADHD and co-occurring conditions have struggled with the place of video gaming in their lives.

There are kids who are struggling because of their problematic video game use, Dr. Ceranoglu says. ADHD kids are more likely to play problematically than non-ADHD kids.

fuels the negative effect in the house, Dr. Ceranoglu continues. Theres good data to show kids with ADHD are at greater risk to play for longer times and without permission.

What can you do to help?

Also Check: Dsm V Autism Spectrum Disorder

Adhd And Video Game Addiction: It Starts With The Brain

In order to understand why there is such a strong connection between video games and ADHD, it is necessary to first understand that in children with ADD or ADHD, the frontal lobe of the brain is commonly dysregulated.

It doesn’t matter how intelligent he or she is. His/her frontal lobe is “stuck” in abnormal or dysregulated brain wave patterns. The most common finding is the brain is stuck in excessive slow brain waves, making it very difficult to concentrate over a long period of time on non-preferred tasks, which is usually homework or classwork. Frequent redirection by parents or teachers is necessary to compensate for the child’s inability to sustain concentration.In addition, the connections in the frontal region of the brain may not be strongly connected, called “Hypocoherence” whereby the communication pathways in the brain are partially nonfunctional, again resulting in the frontal lobe being underpowered and inefficiently functioning.

This would be analogous to working in a company with 19 departments where 10 of the departments do not communicate with each other, so the company runs poorly due to poor internal communication and inefficiency. The ADD brain operates in similar fashion.In essence, the brain being stuck in abnormal slow brain wave patterns or having weak functional connections causes the brain to be underpowered, irrespective of the child’s intelligence.

How Did I Get Here

I looked around my apartment and it was thrashed. Dishes hadnt been done, garbage hadnt been taken out, and my apartment looked like a fraternity had blown through it.

57 hours. I could have started a small business, got in shape, and on and on. Ten minutes after I set down the controller, my ADHD wanted me to pick it up once again. One more try. I sighed, deleted everything and realized that I had nothing, absolutely nothing to show for those 57 hours.

Except a lot of regret.

ADHD, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder1, is something that affects 17 million people and to many of them, video games are a serious addiction. Video games constantly feed our ADHDs need.

Immediate Feedback

When you make a mistake in a video game, you know it. You turn down the wrong corridor, take the wrong path, fight the wrong monster. Done. Game over. Our ADHD loves immediate feedback because it knows what it needs to change.

When things are ambiguous and obtuse, our ADHD wails like a 4 year old who didnt get a piece of candy. Video games offer that feedback and we can make adjustments quickly.

Leveling Up

In many video games we can gain levels. We improve because of the work we put inwe see the results of our effort and we can then have better and harder challenges. We learn exactly what we need to do to earn experience points. Unlike our job or relationships, we can quantify our actions and risk to see the benefits.

Watch:How Video Games Fulfill Your Need for Growth and Progress

Read Also: What Does Level 2 Autism Mean

How Technology Impacts Adhd Symptoms

With technology on the rise and innovation so rampant in the industry, it only makes sense that those in the ADHD community will wind up with questions about how technology can impact symptoms. This is especially true when it comes to video games. Just about every young child today spends a considerable amount of time playing video games parents are right to wonder whether the past time may influence children with ADHD.

The good news is that theres no need to worry! Child and adolescent psychiatrists have stated time and time again that video games have no bearing on the actual development of ADHD but it turns out that in most cases, they dont exacerbate preexisting symptoms, either.

To an untrained layperson, this might seem counter intuitive. Video games are constantly in motion theres never a time when something isnt happening. To a child with ADHD, shouldnt this be a problem? Short attention spans are a hallmark of the disorder, and it would seem to follow that feeding into that issue with video games may cause symptoms to worsen.

Evolutionary biologists have actually suggested that the development of ADHD in the human gene pool can be traced back to humans time spent in tribes. It was good to have somebody hypervigilant around they could keep an eye on the perimeter of camp while other tribe members tended to busywork. Should these theories be true, it would make perfect sense that hypervigilant individuals thrive in scenarios requiring constant attention.

Get Creative And Establish Rules

Is ADHD a Superpower?

Video games arent the only way to entertain kids. Board games, card games, and even lawn games are just as effective and give them the feedback they crave. If they still want to play video games, set a limit on how much game time they get each day. Enroll them in other activities that are just as stimulating. After-school sports, martial arts, social clubs, and special interest groups will help them burn off energy while establishing friendships. The only limit is your imagination.

Schedule an AppointmentNot sure how to best help your child? Schedule an appointment with us today for ADHD services. Our experienced Denver-based team will work with you to help create a plan to help your child succeed and thrive even with ADHD.

Don’t Miss: Can You Join The Police With Autism

Associations Between Adhd Symptoms And Video Game Addiction

We observed a significant correlation between all ADHD symptoms and those of video game addiction. According to Yen, ADHD symptoms among ADHD patients who are also cyberaddicts would indeed appear with more intensity than in ADHD patients who are not. More specifically, inattention seems to be the most aggravated symptom of video game abuse . However, in our study, impulsivity appears to be the most correlated to video game addiction. This is consistent with Bioulac’s hypothesis that ADHD children would also have more behavioral problems with impulsivity related to video games . In the same vein and with regard to the impact of screen use, the more often young people consult their smartphone, the greater the risk of developing ADHD symptoms .

Thus, there appears to be a link between ADHD symptoms and the excessive use of video games, although at this stage it is not possible to predict the direction of causation. Moreover, it is important to differentiate the ADHD symptoms that result from an excessive use of video games from ADHD as a neurodevelopmental disorder.

Benefits Of Video Games

For children with ADHD, online games can be more than just recreation. The games can help them build important skills. These include:

  • Visual-spatial skills
  • Collaboration and teamwork
  • Time management

If your child plays, help make sure the games are right for their age. Some games meant for older kids or adults can be too violent or have sexual content. Rating categories range from E to AO .

Good choices might include games that require finding material to build virtual shelters or carts and other contraptions to carry characters to their destinations. Children can hone their organization planning, sharpen their working memory, and pick up other valuable skills they may lack.

In 2020, the FDA approved the first prescription digital game as therapy for ADHD. EndeavorRx is for youths aged 8-12. Itâs mainly for those who have the inattentive or inattentive-hyperactive type of the disorder. Itâs meant to be used as part of treatment that may include medication and behavioral therapy.

EndeavorRx sends players zooming through different landscapes, including a lava river and an icy winter wonderland. Kids tap the screen to pick up targets along the way. One study funded by EndeavorRxâs maker showed the game helped improve attention.

Read Also: What Age Does Autism Develop

Adhd Associated With Video Game Addiction

Do you know the 7 criteria that can help identify those at risk for unhealthy online gaming?


Video game addiction appears to be associated with ADHD and other psychiatric disorders, according to a large Norwegian study.1 Excessively engaging in gaming may function as an escape mechanism for, or coping with, underlying psychiatric disorders in attempt to alleviate unpleasant feelings, and to calm restless bodies, said lead author Cecilie Schou Andreassen, PsyD, at the University of Bergen in Norway.

Research into addictive technological behaviors has demonstrated strong associations between addictive use of technology and comorbid psychiatric disorders. Schou Andreassen and colleagues1 conducted an online cross-sectional survey of 23,533 adults . They examined whether demographic variables and symptoms of ADHD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, and depression could explain compulsive and excessive use of social media and video games.

The researchers found positive, significant correlations between symptoms of addictive technology use and mental disorder symptoms. Age appeared to be inversely related to the addictive use of these technologies. The study implies that younger people with some of these characteristics could be targeted to help prevent development of an unhealthy gaming pattern, said Schou Andreassen.

Why Adhd And Video Games Can Be A Brutal Combination

Pin on Landon

I remember my rock bottom I was playing Fallout 3 and I was stuck. I couldnt get past a certain area without being annihilated. I was backed into a corner and I didnt have a save that helped me out.

In the game you can see how many hours you had put into the game. My count was 57 hours. I had put 57 hours into a game that was now fruitless. I remember setting the control down and thinking 57 hours.

Read Also: How Long Does Adhd Testing Take

What The Research Says

First, thereâs no evidence that video games cause ADHD. And one large study from Norway that for several years tracked the gaming habits of kids, starting at age 6, found that those who had more ADHD symptoms tended to play more as they got older. But the sheer amount of screen time did not worsen their condition.

Researchers have several ideas about why video games might have such a strong pull on some kids and youths with ADHD.

Stimulation. Video games offer instant rewards, are generally fast-paced, and are visually exciting. The games could be a way for the child to master a skill on their own terms, escape reality, and feel better about themselves.

Social connections.Kids with ADHD sometimes have trouble forming relationships. Online games allow them a way to make and keep friends.

Hyperfocus. This is the ability to super focus on things that are enjoyable or interesting. It can be a hallmark ADHD symptom in some people. Your child may be so fixated on the game that they may not even hear you shouting their name.

Video Games’ Effect On The Brain

Because of the stimulating nature of video games, people with ADHD are vulnerable to addiction, and vice-versa – games reinforce specific traits that are prominent within the condition.

While 3 hours per day is the average time spent on electronics, it has been shown that adolescents who spend just one hour a day playing games or using the Internet have had more powerful symptoms than those who did not participate in these activities.

Video games are attractive to those with ADHD, especially kids, because they offer practically immediate rewards, and there is a great incentive to reach the next stage of a game. This encourages the user to keep playing, and it may be difficult to stop.

The screen changes in games, which tend to happen quickly. Video games also do not demand attention and working memory from the user, nor does focusing on the screen require much effort on their part.

Additionally, the relationship between ADHD and video games also involves the reward pathway in the brain, and patients who have the condition continually seek its stimulation.

Research shows that gaming can amplify the release of striatal dopamine and encourage reward dependency. This also correlates with a previous study that shows that individuals with Internet addiction also had the same increased reward dependency and an “increased prevalence of polymorphisms of the dopamine receptor gene.”

Don’t Miss: Why Are Kids Born With Autism

More articles

Popular Articles

Does Lionel Messi Have Autism

Can You Get Rid Of Autism