Nightingale Hospital featured in The Guardian on the rise in gaming addiction amongst adolescents
According to the article, the number of children and young adults entering treatment for gaming addictions and disorders tripled over the last year, and experts believe that the pandemic and subsequent lock-downs played a key role in the increase.
Patrick Maxwell, the lead addictions therapist for Nightingale hospital, said the pandemic had had a significant impact, and that in younger children especially, technology addiction presented more in the form of gaming.
Between March to June and July to September 2020 the number of inquiries received regarding technology addiction doubled, with the majority of them from parents seeking support for their children. In 2021, the hospital has recorded a fourfold increase in inquiries.
“I think that with the pandemic and its effects on homeschooling, it has definitely given children more exposure to screen time than we’ve ever had before,” he said. “Because they were at home, parents’ awareness of how much screen time their child was using increased, so I think that provoked anxiety within the parents through their observations of their children.”
Note: Nightingale Hospital is a private adult mental health hospital, and we do not offer inpatient treatment for addiction for those under the age of 18 years old. Alternatively, the NHS CNWL National Centre for Gaming Disorders provide treatment for children 13 years and above.