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It ruined my life...Now it is recognized for what it is!
June 10, 2006
12:16 am
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ACryForHelp
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Detox clinic set for video game addicts

(Link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200.....game_detox)

By FIA CURLEY, Associated Press Writer Fri

Jun 9, 7:57 AM ET

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands - An addiction center is opening Europe's first detox clinic for video game addicts, offering in-house treatment for people who can't leave their joysticks alone.

Video games may look innocent, but they can be as addictive as gambling or drugs — and just as hard to kick, says Keith Bakker, director of Amsterdam-based Smith & Jones Addiction Consultants.

Bakker already has treated 20 video game addicts, aged 13 to 30, since January. Some show withdrawal symptoms, such as shaking and sweating, when they look at a computer console.

His detox program begins in July. It will run four to eight weeks, and will include therapy sessions, wilderness excursions, healthy lifestyle workshops and possibly medication.

Research into video gaming is still in its infancy, and researchers haven't agreed on how to define addiction. But many experts say it's clear many of the young people who show dependency on video games are in trouble.

"We have kids who don't know how to communicate with people face-to-face because they've spent the last three years talking to somebody in Korea through a computer," Bakker said. "Their social network has completely disappeared."

It can start with a Game Boy, perhaps given by parents hoping to keep their children occupied but away from the television. From there, it can progress to multilevel games that aren't made to be won.

Bakker said he has seen signs of addiction in children as young as 8.

About a dozen clinics already exist in the United States and Canada, and even one in China, as excessive gaming increasingly is being recognized worldwide as an ailment requiring treatment.

Elizabeth Woolley, who founded the Safe Haven halfway house for addicted gamers in Harrisburg, Pa., welcomed the idea that treating addicts is spreading to the Netherlands. "Thank God that somebody has finally recognized this is an issue," she said.

Jeroen Jansz, associate professor of communications research at the University of Amsterdam, estimates about 80 percent of boys aged 8 to 18 play some type of video game. Forty percent play at least 2 1/2 hours a day.

In a 2005 study, Jansz said gamers are overwhelmingly males, especially in violent games where adolescents find "a safe private laboratory where they can experience different emotions."

Hyke van der Heijden, 28, a graduate of the Amsterdam program, started playing video games 20 years ago. By the time he was in college he was gaming about 14 hours a day and using drugs to play longer.

"For me, one joint would never be enough, or five minutes of gaming would never be enough," he said. "I would just keep going until I crashed out."

Van der Heijden first went to Smith & Jones for drug addiction in October 2005, but realized the gaming was the real problem. Since undergoing treatment, he has distanced himself from his smoking and gaming friends. He says he has been drug- and game-free for eight months.

Like other addicts, Bakker said, gamers are often trying to escape personal problems. When they play, their brains produce endorphins, giving them a high similar to that experienced by gamblers or drug addicts. Gamers' responses to questions even mirror those of alcoholics and gamblers when asked about use.

"Many of these kids believe that when they sit down, they're going to play two games and then do their homework," he said.
However, unlike other addicts, most gamers received their first game from their parents. "Because it's so new, parents don't see that this is something that can be dangerous," Bakker said.

Tim, a gamer who is under treatment, agreed to discuss his addiction on condition that his last name not be used. He said he began playing video games three years ago at age 18. Soon, he would not leave his room for dinner. Later, he began taking drugs to stay awake and play longer. Finally, he sought help and picked up other hobbies to occupy his time.

Richard Wood, a professor of International Gaming Research Unit at Nottingham Trent University, is skeptical about viewing heavy gamers as addicts. Wood says that gaming may be a symptom of a problem, but should be seen as a problem itself "just because a person does the activity a lot."

Bakker, however, says symptoms of addiction are easy to spot. Parents should take notice if a child neglects usual activities, spends several hours at a time with the computer and has no social life.

Bakker said parents of game addicts frequently echo the words of partners of cocaine addicts: "'I knew something was wrong, but I didn't know what it was.'"

June 10, 2006
12:21 am
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ACryForHelp
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I am one of 6 people that I know of from the same Intel Plant in Phoenix that call themselves "Everquest Widdows"

I know that my x was a horrible person to begin with but it was the fact that he never got off the computer to do ANYTHING that angered me the most...

Our best friend had his wife leave him and have the car AND house reposessed by the bank, and left him in THOUSANDS of dollers in debt because of Everquest...

She took the kids, 15 & 17, out of school 1 week before their final exams so that she could move back in with her parents so she could play that stupid game...

I have seen it over and over...

I will say this though... I LOVE Everquest... On abad day Iwould spend a whole hour and ahalf after work running around and talking to people in France, Germany, Tokyo... Doing stupid quests, releasing the stress from the day...

But I knew that I had toget off to go clean, or cook, or sleep...

"He" didn't...

Video Games are more addictive then CRACK because they are socially acceptable...

I hope that NOW people will finally start to learn the TRUE damage that these g.d. things do to the people that just can't shut the contraption off...

June 10, 2006
12:26 am
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smarterone
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I truly believe that if you get into anything deeply, and enjoy it to the point of a need of the satisfaction obtained by engaging it it, it will become habitual. Every person has a differnt levels of needs and addictive personalities. Common. But i do believe, besides the norm of drinking, drugs, gambling, etc. There is a tremendous amount of people young and old addicted to the computer. Another: video games.
I do not have an addictive personality and am lucky to be able to resist the desires of the human beeing.

June 10, 2006
7:40 am
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mamacinnamon
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Great posting...

I know for myself that when I get upset I'll come in and just sit and play a mindless game until I need to get up and get something done here at home. I have spent up to half an hour on one level of a game before.

Now I don't stay on the pc all day. I am up and down doin other things, but I can see where it can be an addictive thing if you don't get yourself up and doin your other responsibilities.

Thanks for the info. 🙂

June 10, 2006
8:46 am
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Rasputin
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Thanks aCryforhelp for this valuable infos!!!

~Ras~

June 11, 2006
4:37 am
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SassyAlex
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My best friend years back got involved with a gamer, he was actually a genius who could have hacked into anything computer-wise if he wanted to. They fell in love and got a house together. Their entire living room was his computer equipment, I don't know enough about computers, so I cannot say what he had going on there, but he had many hard drives and firewalls, for whatever reason, I'm not sure. He was heavily into Everquest, and every single time I would visit their home he was on the computer playing this game. It didn't matter if I came over in the afternoon or if we came home late at night, he was always sitting in front of the computer. It got to a point where my friend said her fiance didn't even want to have sex anymore. She got so desperate that she would be naked in front of him, and he would choose the game over making love to her. Needless to say, their relationship did not work out. Not even because of the sex issue but because his life was devoted to computer games.

I cannot speak about this addiction too much, because it's not something I have experienced in my life, but I saw the toll it took on my friend's relationship. Eventually her fiance wanted to build a house in the middle of nowhere because he didn't want to have contact with many real life people anymore, but he could deal with the "characters" in the game. She chose not to go with him, and he still remains in a house isolated, alone.

Again, I don't know too much on the subject, but I saw first hand how a person's addiction to the computer ruined an otherwise loving relationship.

June 11, 2006
1:12 pm
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{her fiance wanted to build a house in the middle of nowhere because he didn't want to have contact with many real life people anymore ... he still remains in a house isolated, alone.}

{I saw first hand how a person's addiction to the computer ruined an otherwise loving relationship.}

That is so sad. And chilling. I can't help wondering how far some of these trends can go before our social fabric is completely ripped to shreds.

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