Call Now - 833-803-3883

January 21, 2020

The Mental Health Moment January 20th, 2020

January 20th, 2020

Excessive Gaming

Excessive Gaming

Host - Joe Newman (Director of Business Development & Marketing)
Guests - Matthew Arrington Executive Director of Forte Strong & Ben Harding, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Lead Therapist at Forte Strong
Topic - How much gaming is ok, and what kinds of games are helpful or harmful

January 20th, 2020 Transcript – Mental Health Moment 

Transcript by Google Voice Typing – Please excuse errors

Topic – Excessive Gaming and Failure to Launch

Welcome to the Mental Health Moment.  It’s mental health Monday and I’m your host Joe Newman with life launch centers this is a show to find out how to deal with hard emotions improve your mental health and find answers for life I want to start by inviting all the listeners out there if you or a loved one is struggling with depression isolation or if anxiety is there is help it doesn’t have to be a lifelong thing you deal with but rather you can learn the emotional tools, these tools include mindfulness how to maintain balance in life and building healthy connections if you got questions about anxiety and depression honestly the best way to find help is it simply give us a call at 833-803-3883 happy to talk to you about your situation and make some recommendations on how to find help for your mental health challenges again that number is 833-803-3883, there’s a lot of great info on there including all the archive of these radio shows that talk all about our resilience tips on how to address many of the major mental health risks out there again website is  

Well today we’re going to talk about one of the biggest mental health concerns out there for parents and that’s excessive gaming and I’ve got some amazing professional I’ve got Matthew Arrington executive director of forte strong and Ben Harding, he’s a licensed clinical social worker and the lead therapist at Forte Strong.  You know you guys deal a lot with this and you know just for the benefit of the listeners tell us a little bit about what Forte strong is all about absolutely so strong is a mission is really simple it’s building healthy strong independent ment. and one of the biggest causes of Failure to Launch is video game addiction so you like what percentage of the gentleman who come to your program deal with this on some level that video games aren’t the only Avenue but they’re definitely it’s definitely the most predominant the way to isolate way to get away from things right so we’re looking for those dependencies and video games is by far the most prevalent.

So your program is a residential program.  So people from all over the nations send their sons to you to learn how to successfully launch into life.  price of people from all over the nation from outside and we talked it up in the basement and they come to you guys know we’re not going to be the best fit because you know half of the success that we get is just changing the environment the individual and so if they’re hanging around the place where they grew up it’s going to be really easy for them to just go back home at heart instead of you don’t facing facing those difficult things difficult emotions and because more resilient and overcoming Mouse and friends family loved ones from you know around the nation who people listening right now and they say you know what we’ve got an amazing program in St George bring my nephew tell my tell my sister about this so that you know my nephew can get some help so I have a lot of personal feelings about it but as you guys who are in the industry working with these gentlemen everyday really have the the depth of the understanding of the problem and what we do to help that’s what we try to do on this show is really off her parents is rather than just talk about the issue right we’re all looking for and I grew up what I call in the Nintendo era box Nintendo came out Super Mario Brothers was unhealthy food for examples a healthy part of you know of recreation as long as it’s used in the end you know moderation I love that comparison because it’s something that you have to teach your kids right as a parent whether it’s eating or whether it’s a gaming or whether it’s physical activities things that positively to our lives we have to help them learn that balance so what do you guys do to to teach the pallets at such a great question on in the program District on Textures phases excuse me to call them levels and those levels we have different restrictions specifically with technology within those levels because when they get to the more advanced levels we have free access to the video games so that we can see how they managed in their life so she can start with a technology detox we try to go a month without technology I love it yes I love that and you know we we see a lot of symptoms come out of that you know I’ve seen people you know some of our guys come in very similar to a substance detox reeling they have the same absolute and so when they are going through that what do you do to help him well we sit down with them we talk to them about what their goals are we talked to them about that this is a dependency that’s dropping them and and you know it’s part of the process processing these hard as they know they can come and talk to you about how bad they want to play video games and how hard this is that their brains happy hormone that high dosage of dopamine that’s it the highly addictive is that that the concept behind absolutely you know one of the things I think of with video games has put a lot of effort and work into because they’re getting achievements the problem it was in the video probably knows to somewhere that’s not producing any get the gold coins are the stars are in it was interesting I recently downloaded Mario Kart for my phone because I grew up playing Mario Kart but the greatest part about it was sitting there on the couch next to your buddies and it was this epic battle in your bumping elbows and yelling at each other and you’re having actual like social interaction with them but then I saw it on a personal device I thought that’s taken all of that good interaction away that camaraderie and just made it a total dopamine Rush and I started to experience that recognizes they had to gamify the whole thing by offering all these extra stars and now these extra coins and all these you know compliments like you said in the game that I really don’t equate to anything in life but try to hook you on playing more of that game you mention the oxytocin and that’s exactly what’s happening there is that there’s a lot of rain, that’s going on and lots of rewards that they’re getting in its again false right there they feel like they’re accomplishing things but it doesn’t last it’s short-lived and it becomes addictive so you know again I what I found that I had to do with my kids and you guys tell me if this is good or not you’re the professionals but I’ve got a 16 year old son and you know for years she’s been interested in video games and when he was young I’d say like six seven eight years old when you know we got him an old school GameCube right we’re still on the GameCube and but it’s awesome because we have these multiple player games where we play together like Super Smash Bros or Mario Kart or whatever and it does become like a social event and I from the very beginning I warned him it’s like when you find yourself becoming isolated with video games that’s where it becomes a problem when you want to you know get some Grupo guys together or you know I’ll come down and play with you and we can build some some memories together playing these games and then that’s that’s okay that’s good how does how does that correlate with what you guys see at Forte strong so the environment this structure to be you know a positive peer culture and so the idea is. It previously maybe I used to really be inclined to just play video games all day but having a set of Piers around me that understand me and understand what I’m going through and some of that kind of been down the road a little bit further that I have it’s easier for me to kind of engage socially and gain confidence and self-esteem from real social interaction and communication that it is to just have that in a virtual setting so so my you know my take is that socially based games are so much better for recreation then you know single player games however what we’re seeing statistically speaking as a rise and people isolating playing their own video games by themselves so and I think that because they’re playing online in their basement with a headset that they’re being social right but that doesn’t seem to create the same kind of connection connection with Noah doesn’t understand about what technology and we see this in our guys you know when the horror stories that time came from Forte strong as you know how a lot of video games will show you how much time you’ve logged into the video game how much you’ve actually played right well we had one individual who came through the padlock over a year in one game my goodness wow so that kind of ended in this was a single single player game and so that kind of isolation you know he was 24 years old and you can say that one year of that 24 was spent in isolation wow you know I’ve got to take a break here but we are coming back the second half going to talk about you know what kind of games are helpful which ones maybe a little bit more harmful to watch out for but you know I I want to offer a free gift for anyone listening out there right now we’ve got a free copy of the emotional navigate booklet that helps you navigate what is healthy and unhealthy emotional behavior on the wife on Center so you can order it online at our website at life wants to nurse. Com or just give us a call at 833-803-3883 so if you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety depression social isolation excessive gaming now is the best time to get help don’t wait give us a call and we can help strategize with you what would be the best course of action to help your loved one the number again is 833-803-3883 you know they will be back just one minute with Ben and Mal you from Forte strong to talk more about excessive gaming and what to do about it we’ll be back in a minute I still saw the time and just sits in the basement playing video games he says he’s even got inside what the heck is that anyway really that hard, you know life really is different for kids these days what did you guys do to help centers I mean he struggled for years and we thought it was just his personality but really we just needed to learn some emotional tools like what it means to be emotionally hijacked how to talk out the stories in your head and really the distress tolerance tools helped a ton interesting yet it took some medication from all of us but he’s doing right now and it was totally worth it you can actually overcome anxiety and depression in just two to three months with group counseling at life launch centers don’t wait until they fail in life gets in the tools they need to successfully launched start by calling 833-803-3883 welcome back to Mental Health talking about excessive gaming and today in studio I’ve got with me Matthew Arrington executive director of forte strong and Ben Harding who’s a licensed clinical social worker and therapist at Forte strong and just if you’re tuning in just now these gentlemen deal with young men who have had excessive gaming kind of over take their lives and I’m so thankful to have you in studio today to really give us the inside perspective on this on this issue I know there’s a lot of parents out there who we were kind of worried about it so you know what kind of games would you talk about or or recommend to parents to kind of keep an eye out for and maybe you no limit or recommend so I’ll start by just saying that video games you know they’re there is a rating system similar to what we have with movies yeah and so there are games that have mature content that show nudity graphic nudity they swear a blood and violence a lot of Gore and so you don’t use that just if you don’t know anything about video games as a parent to just say hey look is this rated E for everyone meeting my 8 year old and my 20 year olds can play it or is it M for Mature audiences only because that be somewhere to eat no like a R rated R or you don’t rated x movie A so I’m so glad you said that because I have been appalled to hear that I mean back in the day we were growing up is all about Graphics right it was like all this new games got the best graphics and that was the motivation to get it well Graphics of kind of gotten so good that it’s almost like just totally lifelike absolutely and so what they have to do now is is provide more tantalizing content and we’re also aware of a of a particular game we’re even one of the objectives is to steal a car pull over get a prostitute rape her and then throw her back on the curb without paying her and when you do this this is like some of your son like you no in-game achievements and what games to be looking out for that game is is a role playing game and the role playing games are one of the most dangerous because as I was mentioning earlier of a person’s life achievements again it’s it’s not as a substance to it now that’s so interesting because there’s even this bigger push for you know virtual reality and all these other more immersive fighing kind of gaming experiences which I got to say I had a young man just the other day who said to me you know he’s like in 6th grade do you know that people who play video games more are smarter how’d you find out about this he’s like oh yeah I heard that there’s these studies that shows the people who play video games more are smarter so I was kind of like so does that mean that you have really good grades like cuz you love to play video games you aspire to be you know that the other big thing is that these kids aspire to be online Gamers that other people tuned in and watch their gaming and then they’re going to earn money this way in your so much so much professional sports you know we all have those dreams and it’s okay to dream like that but eventually you know most of us a okay so I can’t throw a football know a hundred yards now those guys don’t see that dream ever crashed they just keep going towards the idea of I’m going to be professional gamer what are the statistics of how many people actually become professional Gamers I actually don’t know that statistic but I know that it’s extremely low and I’ll give you an example we had a student to approach this father and said hey Dad I don’t want to go to I don’t want to go get a job instead what I want to do is work towards my dream of becoming professional video gamer and his dad said okay what do you need to do that and he said I need you to go to pay my rent and pay my food give me you don’t have some sort of an allowance while I work on this dream and we don’t see this a lot but this is Dad he said okay fine I’ll do that for you and so he supported his son for a year and the end of the year you know it’s been a year and where are we at and you know again going back to what I was talking about earlier this guy you know unfortunately kind of a waste of your life. He was in the top you know 50 players of the entire world is this benefiting my life am I being productive is it helping me socially is helping me financially and he came to the conclusion that no I died I just don’t have the skill set to do this professionally long-term ninja out there who I mean from what you’re saying it’s not a very realistic dream but it it more often happens that guys come to you to get off of this serious Addiction in order to accomplish anything in life is that was actually able to make some good money playing video games happen to him was that he was depressed eventually ended up in the hospital so even though he was at the point where he was making money with it it still didn’t feel his life enough to have a healthy mental wow so and that’s because of the addictive nature they’re experiencing all that dopamine release because they’re playing the video game off and it’s kind of like it almost like a drug dealer that actually uses their own product you know most drug dealers out there like heroin dealers and stuff they don’t use the product because they know how addictive and damaging it is but this is kind of where they have to partake of the product in order to be successful at it but it’s it’s it just proves to be detrimental absolutely and I think that it’s important to recognize to that you know we do things for specific reasons in our life even if it’s affecting our mental health and well-being and so what we have to do is is place that in a I’m work where they can say okay what I’m doing is fulfilling this need now then we can have a conversation of what other things in your life can be introduced it will also fulfill that need to be more productive and healthy and and make you a little bit of a happier person I love it so there’s values and goals which is exactly what are programs based off of also absolutely unfortunately it sounds like just today we’ve lost sight of what we truly value in life but he let things invade so if her parents is how much is okay yeah. To me is it is a real personal questions so we just did an interview recently with one of the new stations up in Salt Lake and they were talking specifically about fortnite which is one of the bigger TV and you just have to kind of determine as a family what that is for you so we come across families who say you know what video games are okay but on the weekends when you don’t have school work you don’t have your sports other activities and then we have other families that say as long as you do X then you get you know that’s not a video game so for example for every hour worth of you know chores or job work you do you get a half hour so so creating a structure or environment for you’re not you know making it this this Enigma or this this thing that they can’t touch cuz that’s going to create curiosity and then they’re going to want to play it even more right but no you can have access to this but these are the requirements for our home these are the requirements for for what you need what I can tell you is that on average we see people playing around the world between 8 hours a week so I just want to put that into context the average there are some that are much higher and some that are less so for me that’s an entire work day and and for me personally I’m not opposed to my kids playing video games but I don’t have a video game console at my home yeah so so just just as a family you know his parents sit down and determine what you feel is healthy usage for your kids what can contribute to their overall health and well-being without becoming a distraction to the more important things in life I love it you guys are so awesome how do people get ahold of you if they have some great questions so we can be our website is forte that’s Forte we can also be reached at 866-763-7033 and I’ll reach out if there’s anything we can do to help you know we’d love to have a conversation with you and then again kind of going back what you’re talkin about Joe if you were here St George Washington County or Southern Utah really got some tools that they can put you on the right path if you have a loved one that lives outside of here and there between you know that as a young man then feel free to give us a call I love it thank you so much Matthew is that what it is all about us trying to help our kids learn how to successfully launched until I it’s been such a privilege and pleasure to get to talk about this major concerns you have any questions again give us a call at 833-803-3883 this is been your mental health moment join us again next Monday at 5:30 p.m. right here on St George news radio this is Joe Newman signing off from Life on centers until next time keep those kids safe and keep your sanity.

The Mental Health Moment

Listen Live Monday at 5:30 PM on Talk Radio FM93.1 and AM1450 in St. George, UT

Discussing all things “Mental Health,” we bring local professionals and community leaders together to talk about the mental health crisis that face families today.  Not only talk about the problem but help introduce the solutions!