The unmasking of what? Kindergarten addicts? Bipolar toddlers? Cures?
Pre-exisiting, co-occuring, co-morbidity are DSM generated terms that are often thrown around when facing a child that struggles with compulsive video gaming, or some call it, “the addiction”.
The idea behind these words are that the child has a primary disorder that proceeds their addictive behaviors. We are now trading one opinion for another to label our child’s actions and behaviors.
I caution this practice of relying on words like depression, anxiety, adhd, bipolar or even psychosis as it does not provide what drives these symptoms and because of that it can set into motion harmful and toxic treatment plans further shutting the child down making them even more unreachable.
We must consider the attributing factors that create the environment that contributes to our child wanting to retreat from their lives. Why is it they are uncomfortable with their inner world of emotions and thoughts, but are unable to express it in order to receive the helpful attention they deserve?
It will be near impossible to help them if they are allowed to hide behind a screen for endless hours at a time. Furthermore, this very activity exhausts their emotional reserves setting them up for failure from the get go. And that is why I don’t like calling kids addicts. It is a derogatory term that demoralizes an already weakened child. One that fights with all their might to resist admitting how far they have fallen.
The word ‘addict’ isn’t the lifebuoy they are hoping you throw out to save them nor is summarizing their feeling states as a depressive disorder or social anxiety disorder. Those are byproducts from excessive gaming where we are at the chicken before the egg controversy and or they are the byproduct of other life difficulties that are too overwhelming due to their limited experiences to have the necessary tools to know how to best handle these stressors.
That now leads us to our parenting styles.
In my next blog I will discuss ACE’s, adverse childhood experiences, and how it might be personally triggering our parenting decisions. Healing starts with us.