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High-level counselling for athletes addiction to playing sports games


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Elite athletes have the potential to compete in the Olympics or other major competitions in the world. Yet, there are dangers of playing professional sports. To achieve excellence in a particular game, athletes have to exercise frequently, which makes them prone to physical injuries if they do it excessively. Additionally, when athletes begin practicing, they do not become good at the sport immediately, and they may suffer from minor depression. The result is that most of them find ways to alleviate these effects by using substances or picking on other behaviors like playing video games excessively.


Why Athletes are Getting Addicted to Playing Digital Sports Games

Of late, there has been a phenomenon where elite athletes become addicted to digital sports games like FIFA Soccer, which is a soccer simulation game that allows players to develop strategies and manage full-sized teams on the pitch. It is popular with soccer players who realize that they need to sharpen their minds just as they do with their bodies. Remember that just like with many sports, soccer players cannot always be practicing on the pitch. If athletes feel great when playing the game, they may need something else that will give them a similar feeling to the one they feel when they score goals in a real field.

The problem is that, once somebody becomes addicted to playing games, he or she will not only be addicted to one game. There are several assimilations for games. For instance, some people play basketball, pool, handball, and other sports games that require players to develop a strategy. Once this addiction has set in, the careers of these people might be affected in several adverse ways.

Life experiences are a common reason why athletes might get addicted to sports games. If they have been through traumatic situations, they might feel the need to engage in pleasant activities to forget the life experience or overcome the negative emotions associated with the memory. Emotions are a fundamental aspect of all addictions and are, in fact, a basis for many of them. After understanding that an emotionally significant occasion or situation triggers the craving for playing video games, the addicted individual can begin looking for methods to override these emotions instead of crumbling down to the addictive habit.


What is a Sports Game Addiction?

A sports game addiction is described as an individual’s incapability to control the urge to play sports games. This condition affects millions of individuals in many countries. The affected individuals can play sports games for many hours a day, and gaming can take priority over other daily activities or interests. Although many people play video games, most of them are not addicted to this activity. The dissimilarity between playing games as a hobby and being addicted to them is the undesirable repercussions the activity has on one’s life. Gaming can become a massive problem for professional athletes. They can miss training because of their gaming sessions, and this can ruin their careers and relationships. Addiction can also ruin an athlete’s career if his or her performance deteriorates. The athlete may not focus on a game after staying awake for many hours at night playing sports games and did not get enough time to rest.



Why Do People Develop Sports Game Addictions?

Video game developers design the games to be addictive by using sophisticated behavioral psychology to keep players hooked. Playing sports games is an immersive experience that provides the player with high amounts of dopamine. Structural changes can happen in the brains of people who are exposed to such a high level of stimulation regularly. Affected persons can start to expect instant gratification. Due to the immersive nature of games, it is easy to play for multiple hours without noticing that time has passed. They enable players to escape and see progress. Since the games are social, they also create an environment where the player feels in control and safe.


Signs of Video Game Addiction

According to the American Psychiatric Association, there are several warning signs to look out for in recognizing a gaming disorder. They include:

      • Preoccupation with Sports Games

The addicts think about the games they played in the past or look forward to playing the next game. They spend more time than they should playing games.


      • Withdrawal Symptoms

If an addict does not play games, he or she can experience symptoms like anxiety, irritability, boredom, sadness, and cravings. Continuing to use games excessively even though one is aware of the negative consequences.


      • Tolerance

Addicted persons often feel the urge to spend a lot of time playing video games. They can feel motivated to continue playing to complete increasingly intricate, difficult, and time-consuming goals to feel satisfied or avoid the feeling of missing out on something.


    • Trying to control the urge to participate in video games unsuccessfully.


    • Losing interest in previous hobbies because of playing video games.


    • Jeopardizing or losing significant relationships like educational or career opportunities because of playing video games.


    • Deceiving relatives, therapists, and others regarding gaming activities.


  • Using video games to relieve or escape negative moods such as feelings of guilt, helplessness, or anxiety.

These symptoms of gaming addiction can help affected individuals to understand the severity of their situation. However, it is vital to seek professional guidance.


Is There Hope for People Who are Addicted?

People who become addicted to a substance or an activity tend to believe that their addiction is a disease, and there is no way out of it. Concerning a sports game addiction, some affected professionals might not even know they are in trouble because of the general belief that one can only be addicted to drugs and substances. To demystify it, addiction is not a disease. Instead, it is a psychological condition that is set up by a set of behaviors that repeat themselves frequently. Remember that, for a condition to be termed as a disease, it must be caused by a pathological biological process or an infectious agent. Addictions can produce adverse effects in the body like it is with diseases although these cease if the individual receives proper treatment in good time.

If you are addicted to sports games, you may ask if there is any hope for you. The answer is yes. You can find help in a suitable rehab clinic. Not all rehabilitation facilities can treat behavioral addictions such as gaming disorders. Therefore, when seeking treatment for addiction to sports games, you may need to research a number of options before you find the right fit.

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How Counseling Can Help

Addiction is a psychological condition, meaning that if you find the root of your addiction, you can reverse it and live normally again. To get out of a habit, you can get professional help from a video game addiction therapist. Be careful while selecting your therapist because this can determine whether or not your intervention will be successful. The best therapists are certified and have a license to run their businesses. Therapists have the training required to identify the cause of addiction and treat it accordingly. There are two aspects to an addiction. These are the psychological aspect and the physical aspect. It is easy to get through a sports game addiction quickly and effectively because the mental aspect weighs more than the physical aspect.

Video game addiction is similar to gambling addiction because it is a clinical impulse control disorder. Psychiatrists and researchers say there is a similarity between being addicted to video games and being addicted to a substance. In both cases, the individual needs more of the source as time passes and becomes dependent and irritable when it is impossible to access it. That’s why video game addicts also experience withdrawal symptoms. Treatment for addiction to video games is similar to that of other addictions. Behavior modification and counseling are the primary means of treating gambling addicts. When used together, family and individual counseling are useful treatment tools. Some rehab facilities incorporate medicines in their addiction treatment programs.

Video games differ from substances like alcohol and drugs because they are tied to computers, which are an essential part of life for many. Therefore, video game addiction is similar to food addiction, and that is why some rehabilitation centers explore controlled use instead of abstinence. There is no overall cure for video game addiction. Like with drug and alcohol addiction, the key is entering treatment and staying aware of triggers while continuing to engage in recovery groups like Online Games Anonymous.


Therapies For Sports Game Addicts

Research on treating video game addiction is still going on, but researchers have conducted some clinical trials concerning the issue. Therapists agree that the treatments they use for people suffering from other addictions appear to be useful for video game addicts. Therefore, they usually recommend psychotherapy, counseling, cognitive behavioral therapy, medication, and twelve-step programs. They can use these treatment options individually or in combination. Family counseling and one-on-one counseling are both effective in treating gaming addicts. Psychotherapists try to help addicts understand how gaming is related to their moods and emotions, job or school, and rewards or sense of life goals.


Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Many professionals recommend cognitive behavioral therapy as an effective treatment for video game addiction. The treatment allows addicts to shift their thinking process. They replace the thoughts that lead to compulsive gaming with healthier ones. Cognitive-behavioral therapy enables addicts to modify their feelings, ideas, and behavior for the better. Therapists consider addition as a way of thinking or belief, which leads to irrational actions, which are often unhealthy. When using this treatment strategy, therapists first identify and focus on the thoughts which start the chain of addiction and assist the addict in starting his or her transition from there. Therapists encourage their clients to set goals and then learn to overcome the thinking, which leads them to play games compulsively.


Wilderness Therapy

This is another treatment for sports game addiction. The supporters of this strategy contend that if an addict is removed from what is causing the addiction, the therapy provides an excellent opportunity for recovery. They also argue that when addicts are placed in a natural environment, free of the distractions and trappings of modern life, they can learn to be comfortable with their emotions.


Should You Choose Inpatient or Outpatient Treatment for Gaming Addiction?

Inpatient treatment is ideal for people who have to leave their environment for a specific period to heal. Inpatient treatment centers provide individual counseling, group therapy, and a game free atmosphere. Some facilities offer dorm-like accommodation while others offer private rooms. Inpatient programs are designed to make patients feel comfortable, safe, and supported while embarking on a healing journey.

Inpatient or residential treatment centers provide patients with adequate time to recover from their addiction. Some individuals can improve after receiving treatment at such a facility for thirty days, while others can benefit after undergoing therapy for sixty days. Some treatment centers have amenities like massage therapy and gourmet meals that make a recovery more comfortable, ensuring that participants remain in treatment for longer. Most treatment centers offer flexible payment plans and accept insurance.

Outpatient sports game rehab programs share many of the traits of inpatient programs. The main difference is that they do not offer overnight accommodation. These programs provide much more freedom for patients who can return home after the end of each season. Such a structure enables participants to maintain commitments to school, work, family, and friends. The other advantage of outpatient programs is that patients can enjoy a support network without revealing to their fellow students or coworkers that they are undergoing treatment for addiction.

Anyone can get addicted to video games, and athletes are not an exception. Gaming addiction is a disorder that requires treatment. Recent developments within the psychiatric field could mean that more treatment options will be available for addicted gamers in the future. Counseling is a great way to deal with this condition. Since it takes time to recover from an addiction, gaming addicts should choose a suitable rehab facility and be patient as they go through the journey towards achieving full recovery.

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