Have a teen who seems to love video games a bit too much? In this episode, host Travis Nipper welcomes Dr. Suzanne Sampang of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center back to tackle the subject. Dr. Sampang addresses the hidden dangers of video gaming, the warning signs of overuse, and how to identify potential video game addiction. She offers some tips on parenting to help your child strike a healthier balance.

Listen to Episode 14

Travis Nipper introduces guest Dr. Suzanne Sampang of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medial Center. Dr. Sampang works as a child and adolescent psychiatrist. She has been practicing for 20 years and her current role is a Senior Medical Director. Dr. Sampang completes hospital work with teenagers, sees kids in an outpatient clinic setting, and works on residency training while trying to educate future psychiatrists in the area. (1:40)

Dr. Sampang starts by discussing  unseen dangers associated with video games. She talks about how exposure to violence in video games can lead to desensitization.  This desensitization can then lead to the formation of their own aggressive behaviors.  Producers have made video games more engaging and realistic. Furthermore, some video games connect to the internet  and can expose kids to strangers which can open unknown discussions. (2:50)

Gamming pulls kids away from real life. It should be noted that video game addiction is a behavioral addiction and  can destroy a healthy balance in your teens life. The dangers of a gaming addiction are the same as any other addiction. (4:38)

Signs  of a gamming addiction would be similar to typical signs of addiction; thinking about gaming all of the time or the majority of the time, feeling bad or sad when you cannot play, feeling like you need to spend more and more time playing, not being able to quit, and having functional problems related to gaming, like skipping work to play video games or not doing schoolwork to play games. Treatment options may include cognitive behavioral therapy  (CBT) which allows you to play games in moderation if possible.  (6:05)

Dr. Sampang describes to parents listening that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.  It is important to have a conversation with your kids ahead of time about the rules of gamming and social media. Furthermore, parents should have these conversations at the onset of the gamming or social media use. (9:05)

Previous research has found that there is a connection between kids that spend most of their time on social media and other things are that are taking time from healthier habits. Furthermore, research has found that the extent of time kids are on social media and games can be linked to having a higher risk of experiencing problems with depression. (11:40)

In the mic drop part of this episode, Dr. Sampang discusses how it is important for adults to look at  themselves and the amount of time they spend on a device. She ends with saying how parents should consider following same rules that they set for their own kids. (12:50)


Dr. Suzanne Sampang – Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center

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