Is it necessary to consult a psychologist for addiction?

A psychologist plays a crucial role in helping a person with addiction recover and maintain sobriety. Psychiatrist’s medications could only help manage the cravings and withdrawal symptoms for the time being while the person works with a psychologist to learn ways to manage their cravings, identify and use strategies to cope with their triggers, and understand and resolve the emotional, psychological, and other life stressors that may be contributing to their addiction.

How can a psychologist help the family of the patient with addiction?

A psychologist can help the family keep involved in the recovery process of the patient with addiction. Having a supportive family environment can greatly enhance recovery, moreover, a psychologist can offer family therapy sessions and help family members learn about ways they can be supportive. Involving the family can also help some addicts keep themselves accountable. A psychologist can also help the family members deal with their emotional, psychological or other issues as a result of their family member’s addiction.

What is the psychology of gaming addiction?

Rewards.  Video games provide rewards everytime a person accomplishes something such as killing a monster in the form of points, happy music when completing a level, etc. Thus, the brain starts craving for the reward that gaming offers.

Inclusion.  Some games are also built on the combined effort of a ‘group’ – thus the gamer feels a sense of ‘duty’ to log into the game and play, since he/ she contributes to the wins of their group, as one person isn’t strong enough in such games, but the whole group has strength to win the game. Thus, a gamer would want to continue playing everyday to gain the satisfactory feeling of being included in a group as well as to avoid the threat of social censure.

Social Obligation.  Also, there could be guilt if a person does not engage in gaming to help out their group members who otherwise would be left to fend for themselves. This guilt is tied not only to social obligation but also to maintain their own character as a community member.

Escapism.  Gaming can also serve the purpose of escapism from real world problems for some people – which gets them hooked on gaming. These problems could be depression, social anxiety, etc. and the gamer gets a temporary high in the gaming world that helps them avoid facing how they feel about their real life issues.

What approaches does an addiction psychologist use for treatment?

Psychologists use various approaches for treating addiction. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) can help the addict identify their triggers and deal with the thoughts and actions that fuel their addiction. Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) can help an addict learn to tolerate distress and learn emotional regulation skills, improve self-image and communication skills, as well as gain confidence in their coping abilities. Biofeedback, neurofeedback, meditation, mindfulness, and guided imagery are other useful tools that psychologists may use in the treatment for addiction.

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