Last Updated on
Alcoholism and drug addiction have long been considered to be diseases of some sort, stemming from genetic problems. The evidence has been lackluster, to say the least, and if it IS a disease, then we need to evaluate what exactly is causing it.
My personal experience with Internet/gaming addiction, as well as my conversations with parents in the past, is that it is not a disease. It is caused by personal circumstances that the individual feels is out of his or her control and triggered by the same cues, but in reality, many of those factors are well within the individual’s locus of power.
They simply don’t realize it IS within their power, or do not have enough knowledge to deal with those problems. Knowledge is power, folks!
For example, back in my college days, I didn’t really see the meaning of going to a “good” college. I succeeded in a goal I didn’t care about and quickly succumbed to gaming and Internet addiction.
Over time, I began to learn more about “life” and what’s needed to succeed. Money, obviously, became a consideration, and I began to form clearer goals of my OWN choosing. This is a process that, contrary to what some might believe, can take years to fully develop.
Many families I’ve talked with came to the same conclusion about their kids. Their kids don’t seem to care about money that much (a value that could certainly change over time), and because the rationalization for going to college was to “get a degree and make a lot of money,” the entire rationale for attending classes collapsed.
Some personalities are also more prone to Internet/gaming addiction – introverted, high-strung, and contemplative types (Introverted and Intuitive on the Carl-Jung system) are most likely to turn to video games, social media, and web surfing to relieve themselves.
We need to stop labeling certain types of people as “diseased” simply because they follow different patterns of behavior or “think differently” in response to their external environment.
Learn more about our program on helping adolescents and young adults with compulsive Internet/gaming problems!