It is a common story to hear among recovering addicts and alcoholics that the signs were there early on. Each of us have behaviors, mannerisms, and thought processes in our youth which mimic those we identify in therapy later on once we enter treatment. We realize we always felt overwhelmed, depressed, anxious, traumatized, or different somehow. From a young age, we can remember feeling ill at ease with ourselves, within ourselves, and as part of the world. Most of us felt we didn’t understand how the world worked or why people could be who they could be. We were either shown poor coping mechanisms or we weren’t shown coping mechanisms at all. Through drugs, alcohol, and other harmful behaviors we created our own coping mechanisms.
Today’s youth are being shown how to cope with their world in a different way: through digital addiction. Research on social media addiction in youth is common. Some have even equated the effect of digital screens on children to be like heroin. Children can develop an unhealthy attachment to digital devices to the point where it changes their personality, their emotional state, and mental wellbeing. Digital technology is being used more often in schools. Courses in coding, computer development, and more are being taught to school age children today.
One area of digital addiction affecting the youth is online gambling. The Guardian reports that 23% of teenage boys gamble online. Statistically, teenage boys are more likely to gamble than to smoke cigarettes or do drugs. Gambling may seem like a lesser of evils, however, it is coming at a cost.
“A high level of online gaming in boys is related to bullying…” The Guardian reports, “Online gambling and gaming is addictive because it provides distraction from stress, depression, and anxiety.” The article continues to explain that, “More young people now suffer these mental health problems for a variety of reasons – whether it’s the stress of school, worries about separating parents, or anxieties around their physical appearance.” Tending to this stress means escape rather than actual emotional processing. Today, young people are inclined to pick up a digital device and disappear into a loss of time than they are to pick up a tissue and cry something out.
Aurora Recovery Centre specializes in the treatment of gambling addiction. Into adulthood, gambling addiction often co-occurs with substance use disorders such as alcoholism and drug addiction. Our dual diagnosis treatment center approaches all the facets of someone’s suffering to provide effective healing for lifelong recovery. We’re here to light the way. Call us today for more information, 844-515-STOP.