Video game addictions lead to depression and anxiety

By Annette Falconer –bio|email
Posted by Elizabeth Thomas – email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Everyone knows the saying, "too much of a good thing," and while video games are fun, if your child becomes addicted to video games, it can lead to all kinds of trouble later on, including depression, and anxiety.

In a recent study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), researchers found that kids that are pathological gamers play an average of 31 hours a week. The gamers displayed higher levels of depression and other mental health issues than those that played fewer hours.

Tyler Clinical Psychologist, David Wheeler, says parents can prevent addictions from happening. "I can't tell you how many parents of adolescence I see that say, 'oh we had no idea, we had no idea they were thinking like this, we had no idea they were doing these things,' that's because they are so disconnected with their kids, they don't know what their kids are doing."

Wheeler says children have a harder time than adults of understanding the difference between reality and fantasy. He says the time should be limited that they play with video games, but what they play should be monitored as well.

Wheeler says, "It's really sad, but I think these first person shooter games really promote that state of mind that isn't real, that shooting people isn't real, so it's ok, and that's very dangerous."

David Wheeler suggests for parents to involve their kids more in physical activities like walking, or going to the gym with them.

The AAP recommends that elementary school age children engage in no more than one hour of screen time a day, and high schoolers no more than two.

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