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Expertspeak: How to identify gaming or social media addiction

After addiction to popular game PUBG claimed the life of a Mumbai youth, it has raised concerns over the ever increasing popularity of the game and how it has got half of the world’s youth under its spell.

February 05, 2019 / 05:14 PM IST

Jagyaseni Biswas

After addiction to popular game PUBG claimed the life of a Mumbai youth, it has raised concerns over the ever increasing popularity of the game and how it has got half of the world’s youth under its spell.

While steps are being taken by individuals and statutory bodies to contain the overarching reach and effects of the game — such as the Gujarat govt circular banning primary school students from playing it and the 11-year-old Maharashtrian who moved the court seeking a ban on the game — at a more personal level, parents or immediate kin of children need to be more observant and read the telling signs a gaming addict would exhibit, before it is too late.

Mumbai based clinical psychologist Ruchira Singh believes this problem affecting the new generation of teenagers is very serious and points out that binging on any kind of social media platform or a game, is a form of compulsive behavior, which needs to be identified and nipped in the bud.

Speaking in context of the recent suicide, she said: “We need to understand the severity of the situation. In such extreme cases, parents need to be more aware of when the gaming is becoming an addiction and hampering the child's daily functioning, and immediately consult a therapist.”

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Singh adds: “There are various therapies and techniques with which these maladaptive behaviour patterns can be gradually turned into more adaptive ones.”

Pune-based doctor Tanvi Modi, on the other hand, said: "I feel, to control gaming, you can use the positive/negative reinforcement technique in childhood...allow the kid to play his/her game for an hour for every 3-4 hours of studying/homework. Complete restriction will make the child rebellious, and obviously more likely to break the rules.For older children who can be reasoned with, talk about the problems with excessive gaming."
Jagyaseni Biswas
first published: Feb 5, 2019 12:23 pm

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