NHS treating hundreds with gaming disorders

The NHS has announced that it is treating hundreds of people with gaming disorders, including children, at the NHS National Centre for Gaming Disorders.

745 people have been referred for treatment at the UK’s only gaming clinic since it opened in October 2019.

Gaming disorder refers to a person struggling to control how often they play video games which can be up to fourteen hours a day or more, with some cases resulting in violence, avoiding school and work, breakdown in family relations, and general withdrawal from society.

The number of gamers getting treated increased by more than half from 2021 to 2022. At the same time family members of those suffering from a disorder receiving treatment increased 46 per cent.

At the clinic, NHS consultant psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, and family therapists offer treatment to people aged 13 and over suffering from a gaming disorder, as well as their family members.

Treatments offered include: family consultations, individual or group therapy, parent workshops, ongoing parent support groups, and family therapy.

NHS National Centre for Gaming Disorders founder and director Professor Henrietta Bowden-Jones said: “Gaming disorders can have a significant impact on children and their family to the extent it can take over and stop them from living their normal daily life.

“From avoiding school or work, engaging in violence, to family breakdowns, the harms to those suffering can be significant; but there is help from the NHS for those who need it.

“We also know as with other addictive and mental health disorders, the earlier they are identified and treated the more successful the outcomes will be for both the individual but also for the wellbeing of the family members who are also impacted negatively by someone’s excessive gaming.

“If you are struggling with your mental health do seek help from the NHS – you can contact your GP or refer yourself online to our world leading talking therapies service or if you are in a crisis, you can call your local helpline 24/7.”

Image by Pexels from Pixabay