Gaming is one of the most popular pastimes amongst young people. They can play for hours whenever they get the chance. And many parents question whether their child’s gaming behaviour can still be viewed as “normal” or whether a real problem is emerging.

Game addiction is a growing problem. More and more young people with this addiction are treated in clinics. Studies estimate that 10 percent to 15 percent of gamers exhibit signs that meet the World Health Organization’s criteria for addiction.

Does My Child have a Game Addiction?

A young person is addicted to gaming when he/she plays a lot and fails to reduce this. Even if he/she experiences first hand that gaming leads to problems, such as broken friendships, poor school results or serious fatigue. Instead of decreasing, the youngster will increase game times even more. When limiting play or even when removing the console, aggressive behaviour can be displayed.

How to Recognise Game Addiction?

The life of a young person with an alcohol addiction is dominated by alcohol. A young person with a drug addiction does often nothing else than using or thinking about drugs. For people with a game addiction, the process is not much different. All day, they are busy with games or thinking about it. We see more and more young people with a gaming addiction entering our clinic. Young people who were consecutively playing games 8 up to 15 hours a day and arrive at the clinic totally neglected by themselves.

Some of the symptoms:

  • Have difficulty leaving the computer for a meal. Food may be taken when playing.
  • Daily life, such as social contacts, work or study all have to make way for playing the game.
  • Daily tasks and activities are rushed because the youngster wants to sit at the computer as soon as possible.
  • Ultimately, sleep will give way to play the game.
  • Sometimes young people do not recognise their own game addiction, simply because they repress it.
  • Care and personal hygiene can (strongly) decline.

As a young person, one should pay attention to the following signals:

  • Do you need to play games to calm you down or to get a thrill?
  • Do you feel the need to game because you do not want to let your online friends down?
  • Do you feel uncomfortable if you can’t play?
  • Is your mind busy with your game, even when you are not playing?
  • Does gaming lead to conflicts with parents, friends, yourself and/or interferes with other activities such as work, school and hobbies?
  • Do you want to play less, but are you unable to?

The Risks of Gaming

Problems for young people who are gaming too much:

  • Loneliness
  • Shortage of sleep
  • Social fear
  • Fights
  • Negative self-image
  • Aggression
  • Depression
  • Run away from reality
  • Poor work/school results
  • Not taking care/bad hygiene


  • Call in sick
  • Absence
  • Not doing any homework
  • No energy to study
  • Going to bed to late

Social life:

  • Hardly any friends, except online
  • Fights with parents
  • Online meetings to game
  • Stop sports or all other hobbies
  • Isolation (in the bedroom)

Types of Games

There are many different games. Below you can find some frequently played games, where the internet is often seen as the place to meet.

  • World of Warcraft
  • League of Legends
  • Call of Duty
  • Grand Theft Auto (GTA)
  • FIFA Football
  • Final Fantasy
  • Minecraft
  • Halo
  • Runescape
  • Fortnite

Need help for teens and young adults who are addicted to games?

Yes We Can Youth Clinics can effectively treat teens & young adults struggling with a game addiction.

Interested to learn more about Yes We Can Youth Clinics and our intake procedure? Please send us an email using our contact form.

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