An online services marketplace has reported that more than 5,000 people in the UK have sought professional help for gaming addiction in the last year, 30% of which were for children. In response, the marketplace has worked with some of its counsellors to create a comprehensive guide for parents, on what to look out for if they suspect their child has a gaming addiction.
An online services marketplace has reported that more than 5,000 people in the UK have sought professional help for gaming addiction, 30% of which were for children in the last 12 months.
Bark.com analysed its internal data after noticing demand for private counsellors had increased by 65% since 2016 and discovered that 5,009 Brits requested to book a counsellor for gaming addiction in the last 12 months.
Out of those 5,009 people who requested to book a counsellor through Bark.com, 1,511 (30%) were from parents wanting help for their children.
At the start of 2018 gaming addiction was classified as a mental health condition by the World Health Organisation. In response to this and its data, Bark.com has worked with its counsellors to create a guide for parents on what the tell-tale signs of gaming addiction are.
The full guide can be found here, along with a new counselling category for gaming addiction: https://www.bark.com/blog/more-than-5000-brits-sought-help-on-bark-com-for-gaming-addiction-in-the-last-year-30-are-children/
In the first two quarters of 2016, there were no requests for gaming addiction counselling. From July 2016 to 2017, 1,873 people submitted a job request to a Bark.com counsellor for the problem, meaning there has been a 167% increase in demand for gaming addiction counselling in the last year.
Signs of gaming addiction that parents should look out for include:
- Expresses extreme anger, irritation and frustration when they’re not allowed access to a video game.
- Appears depressed and anxious when they’re not playing a video game.
- Becomes disinterested with school work and other activities that they previously enjoyed.
- Drastic change in mood when they start playing the game. This can be from calm to excited or from angry to happy for example.
- Appears to lose control whilst playing the game and expresses uncharacteristic emotions.
Bark.com has more than 10,400 counsellors across the UK registered to its platform, who have worked with more than 50,000 patients on improving their mental health.
Kai Feller, co-founder of Bark.com said,
“We were shocked at just how many people have sought help for gaming addiction in the last year. It seems to be a modern problem, from working with our counsellors it’s evident that parents are struggling to see the signs. What is apparent is that it’s like any other addiction, except children are more at risk of suffering from it because there’s no age limit like there is with alcohol and it’s very accessible unlike illegal drugs.
“Our counsellors have advised parents to be wary of their child’s behaviour this Summer, especially with games like Fortnite, where it’s the ‘in’ thing to do. Any parents who are concerned can seek professional help and advice, whether that is hiring a counsellor or going to your GP. Gaming addiction is not something to be taken lightly and can have a devastating emotional impact.”