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Discover how starting therapy with a video game addiction counseling can support your own journey toward a happier, more fulfilling life.

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Starting Video game addiction counseling

What is video game addiction counseling?

Thriveworks video game addiction counseling in Columbia, SC helps people who have an obsession with playing video games as well as with internet gaming disorder. People may have mild, moderate, or severe internet gaming disorder if they struggle to control how often or how long they game. The symptoms of internet gaming disorder may include deceiving loved ones about when and how often they play, thinking constantly about gaming, and using video games as a distraction from real-world problems.

How does video game addiction counseling work?

Thriveworks video game addiction counseling in Columbia helps those who suffer by assisting them in regaining control over video gaming. In addition, it can help them cope with the negative effects of video game addiction counseling from anxiety to depression, insomnia, and more.

Is video game addiction counseling conducted in person or online?

Video game addiction counseling at Thriveworks is conducted both in person and through Online therapy. We encourage you to choose the option that works best for you.

How long does video game addiction counseling last?

The length of video game addiction counseling depends on the individual’s needs as well as the extent and severity of their problem and those that might stem from it. That said, people can make meaningful progress in the first weeks to months of therapy.

Need more help deciding?

Liam’s parents are concerned. A year ago, he would come home from school, do his homework, and then race off on his bike to meet friends. They know it has been a tough year for Liam, moving from elementary school to middle school. They thought he would adjust by now, but he has not. Liam plays video games all afternoon and into the evening. He is not doing his homework, and Liam’s English teacher called to say he has fallen asleep in class twice this week. Liam’s parents are not sure how to help him, and they are concerned that he has a video game addiction.

Mental health professionals are studying what people commonly call video game addiction. While there is much more to learn, many things are clear: a significant amount of people struggle to regulate their video game play. The signs and symptoms they display with their gaming is similar to other impulse control addictions like gambling.

Just as there are support groups and therapies for addictions, interventions are being developed to help people who struggle with gaming. Twelve-steps programs such as Computer Gaming Addicts Anonymous and Online Gamers Anonymous are based upon Alcoholic Anonymous. Counseling practices are also seeing more and more clients, helping them develop the skills to control their gaming habits.

Thriveworks Columbia sees many clients who know that video games are taking over their lives. Our therapists have guided them to take back control from gaming.

Video Game Addiction: Signs and Symptoms

When people talk about video game addiction, they are often speaking of the official diagnosis of internet gaming disorder. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) gives signs and symptoms for internet gaming disorder, but it also calls for more study officially calling it an addiction.

The following list outlines the DSM-5’s diagnostics for internet gaming disorder. In each sign, there is a common theme: control. The main question is whether people can control their video game use or whether video game play control their lives. How can people know the difference? If they display the following behaviors, they may have lost control of their gaming. They may have mild, moderate, or severe internet gaming disorder:

  • Trying to curb use or quit playing but being unable to sustain control.
  • Deceiving family members, friends, employers, and/or counselors about one’s game use.
  • Being consumed, obsessed, and preoccupied with gaming, both when playing and when not.
  • Feeling withdrawal symptoms such as moodiness, irritability, aggressiveness, depression, or restlessness when unable to game.
  • Seeking relief from difficult emotions (sadness, loneliness, depression, guilt, shame, anxiety, disappointment, and more) though video game play.
  • Prioritizing gaming over real-world opportunities to connect with loved ones or to advance one’s career or education.
  • Developing a tolerance to gaming—playing longer to feel the same level of satisfaction.
  • Distracting oneself from life problems or responsibilities with video games.

It is estimated that 10 percent of gamers ages 8-18 have a dependency upon video games. Parents should look out for these signs in their children in addition to the previously listed symptoms:

  • Drowsiness and sleepiness at school.
  • Gaming by themselves.
  • Dropping grades.
  • Incomplete home work.
  • Quitting or lost interest in activities they once enjoyed.

Compulsive Online Gaming and Real-life Disruptions

Just as a gambling addiction can lead to devastating consequences in a person’s life, so can internet gaming disorder. If left untreated, emotional, physical, and relational difficulties may result:

  1. Physical – Compulsive video game play may result in Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, neglected hygiene, headaches, irregular sleeping habits, dry eyes, and irregular eating habits.
  2. Relational – When people lie about their video game use or choose time gaming over time with loved ones, they can cause great relational harm to their friends and family.
  3. Emotional – If a person numbs difficult emotions with video games, these emotions are not resolved. Instead, they may grow worse the longer they are unaddressed.

Internet Gaming Disorder Counseling at Thriveworks Columbia

As you read through the symptoms and signs of internet gaming disorder, did you recognize any? Maybe you are struggling. Maybe your child is. Men, women, boys, and girls can struggle with their impulse control regarding video games. It affects the lives of many people, but many people are also finding support and help from mental health professionals. You are not alone.

If you are ready to talk with a counselor, our professionals are ready to listen. We work with teens and adults. Our office has done what we can to make scheduling an appointment as easy as possible.

When you call our office, you may be meeting with your therapist the following day. Many new clients have their first appointment within 24 hours of their first call. We also accept many forms of insurance.

Let’s work together to take back control of your or your child’s video game habits. Call Thriveworks Columbia today.

Pricing & insurance

Our therapists accept most major insurances. We accept 585+ insurance plans, and offer self-pay options, too.
Learn more about pricing for therapy and counseling services at Thriveworks.

Our Columbia therapists and counselors accept 22 insurance plans

  • Aetna

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina | BCBS

  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of South Carolina Medicare Advantage

  • Blue Cross Blue Shield | Anthem (Blue Card)

  • Carelon

  • Carolina Behavioral Health Alliance (CBHA)

  • Cigna | Evernorth

  • Cigna | Evernorth EAP

  • Cigna | Evernorth Medicare Advantage

  • Compsych

  • First Health Network

  • Humana Exchange

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Self-pay costs at Columbia
Talk therapy

Talk therapy

Includes individual, couples, child/ teen, & family therapy

First session

$1

Ongoing sessions

$1

Talk therapy

Psychiatry

Includes reducing symptoms with medication & management

First session

$1

Ongoing sessions

$1

Hear from our clients

4.9 Thriveworks Columbia reviews are collected through Thriveworks.com.
★★★★
Everyone is very nice and are really easy to talk to!
Columbia, SC Sep 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
Debbie has helped me effectively manage the stress in my current work environment. She has also provided me with practical real-life applications to help me work toward my immediate and long-term goals. I am fortunate to have Debbie as a therapist!
Read more Debbie has helped me effectively manage the stress in my current work environment. She has also provided me with practical real-life applications to help me work toward my immediate and long-term goals. I am fortunate to have Debbie as a therapist!
Columbia, SC Sep 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
Debbie is such an amazing person to talk to and she helped me through so much in the past year. She has helped me to understand myself and work through my problems. Absolutely amazing :)
Read more Debbie is such an amazing person to talk to and she helped me through so much in the past year. She has helped me to understand myself and work through my problems. Absolutely amazing :)
Columbia, SC Sep 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
Mrs. Anna Gantt-Gordon has an exceptional personality and attitude in working with clients. She goes the extra mile to advocate and encourages others. Great to work with.
Read more Mrs. Anna Gantt-Gordon has an exceptional personality and attitude in working with clients. She goes the extra mile to advocate and encourages others. Great to work with.
Columbia, SC Aug 2020
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
I highly recommend Thriveworks! The service from the faculty is surperb from the front office to the life coaches & counselors!! I have been going to Thriveworks for 3 years now and, I absolutely love it! They don't treat you like a number like the other places do! If you or someone you know needs couciling then call Thriveworks Mon-Sat! Yes, I said Saturday! They will help you in anyway they can to make you see the light at the end of the tunnel! Thank you Thriveworks for all of the services y'all have provided me with and still do! Without of all of you I don't know where I would be today!
Read more I highly recommend Thriveworks! The service from the faculty is surperb from the front office to the life coaches & counselors!! I have been going to Thriveworks for 3 years now and, I absolutely love it! They don't treat you like a number like the other places do! If you or someone you know needs couciling then call Thriveworks Mon-Sat! Yes, I said Saturday! They will help you in anyway they can to make you see the light at the end of the tunnel! Thank you Thriveworks for all of the services y'all have provided me with and still do! Without of all of you I don't know where I would be today!
Columbia, SC Mar 2019
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
From the moment I first walked through the doors, I have been treated with respect, and care. I feel so at ease with all the people I have met there. I cannot recommend this team of mental health care providers enough!
Read more From the moment I first walked through the doors, I have been treated with respect, and care. I feel so at ease with all the people I have met there. I cannot recommend this team of mental health care providers enough!
Columbia, SC Nov 2018
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
I was having a hard time with my partner and was ready to give up, but we took a chance after some research and found the help we really needed. Sometime you need someone to sit, listen, and guide you. Thank You!
Read more I was having a hard time with my partner and was ready to give up, but we took a chance after some research and found the help we really needed. Sometime you need someone to sit, listen, and guide you. Thank You!
Columbia, SC Mar 2017
Review left on Thriveworks.com
★★★★★
It was difficult asking for help, but the staff and therapist ensured that I was comfortable and made it the best decision. I plan to continue going again.
Read more It was difficult asking for help, but the staff and therapist ensured that I was comfortable and made it the best decision. I plan to continue going again.
Columbia, SC Mar 2017
Review left on Thriveworks.com

Where to find us

Getting here

Thriveworks Counseling & Psychiatry Columbia is right next to Boyd Plaza, and in a shared office building with TD Bank. We are at the corner of Main and Hampton Street, across the street from Wells Fargo.

Phone number

(803) 882-3401

Languages spoken by SC providers

  • English
Tuesday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Wednesday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Thursday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Friday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Saturday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Sunday 8:00am - 9:00pm
Monday 8:00am - 9:00pm

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Tuesday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Wednesday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Thursday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Friday 7:00am - 9:30pm
Saturday 7:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday 8:00am - 5:00pm
Monday 7:00am - 9:30pm

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