Is Excess Screen Time Hijacking Our Children’s Lives?

Hi, my son is 20. He started online gaming a few years ago. Today, it is the only thing he does.
He dropped out of university. He does not work and has no real friends. He sits in the room for about 18 hours a day.

He stopped going outside the house at all. He neglects his hygiene, wears his pyjamas all the time, does not shower, eats junk food, and is gaining weight.
The situation goes out of hand when i bring up stopping video gaming or even just the idea of reducing the play time. He makes me feel guilty and says life is not worth living without his games. I pull back when he starts shouting at me and leave him alive as he scares me a lot of he might do to himself or to me.

He says gaming is all he has in life, but he was majoring in CCE and was passing all his courses, but gradually stopped attending all of his classes. He has become a loner. His life is just about online gaming.
I am extremely tired and losing sleep over all of this. When i tried to get him a psychologist for help he refused and i failed to get the support of his father. I am so sad. I am sick over all of this and can not sleep anymore. I never seem him except when he gets hungry and asks me to get him food to his room. I am having a very hard time finding help for his video gaming addiction. I believe that i am going to have a nervous breakdown over this anytime. Help me please@

-- Nancy, mom of a university student

I have lost my Son to video gaming and YouTube video watching.
He spends ALL his time on his smartphone, PlayStation, and PC.
I can barely talk to him. He only wants to be kept alone, immersed in his virtual world.
He is 15. I dont recognize him anymore which scares me a lot. He always finishes eating quickly to go straight back to God knows what on his screen that cannot wait. Im not technology literate, and I am sure he is taking advantage of it.
In his eyes, I become the meanest parent on earth when I try to talk to him about reducing his screen time. He either completes his assignments in no time or ignores them altogether. He is falling behind at school, lost interest in his hobbies, and barely does any physical activity. His father gave up on him after tons of quarrels and fights.
I want my son back. I am missing the son I lived for who used to love nature and hiking, who used to enjoy our family gatherings, who used to read and play music and who was a popular player in the school Basketball team.
PLEASE, help me find my LOST son

-- Rania, mother of a teenager

Greetings, i took away the gaming device from my eldest son who is 13 years.
His video gaming started as an escape as he was struggling with his social life.
His father took it away, but he became emotionally disturbed.

At school he was severely bullied which left him lonely. It was hard for him to discuss the issue.
Each time we tried to discuses it with him, he got reminded of how much unsuccessful his social life at school was.

Recently, he received a diagnosis of autism. So, its not necessarily addiction to gaming that is causing my family all the troubles.
Now i believe that gaming gave him a safe place to be part of, a convenient way to converse with others, an escape. A virtual world of his own that was safer than real one that was harming him badly.

Now, i am assured that my sons video gaming wasnt the root cause of our issue, it was a predisposition. Gaming is a survival mode for him. However, i have no idea whether gaming is aggravating his autism with irreversible damage. Is there a better way to cope with my sons case? Please help.

-- Jessica, needs your help

My 12 years son is gaming all the day and late at night while we are all sleeping. His favorite game is Fortnight. After months of gaming, I barely know him. He blatantly lies to me about the time spent gaming and lots of other things. He is not interested in anything at all, just gaming. He can’t listen to me and he can’t even look at me. Worst of all, he is failing at school. Unfortunately, he got severe anxiety. If I don’t take his meals to his room, he doesn’t eat. None of his friends visit him anymore. He yells at me arguing that he doesn’t need face-to-face friends, because he has lots of them online. Real friends come to eat and drink and waste my time. I tried to find him alternatives. I bought puzzles and volunteered to do them with him. I registered him in basketball training several times, but couldn’t convince him to go. I felt I can’t control my nerves anymore and I was really really angry. I brought him home a psychologist to address his anxiety which made him extremely angry with me. He told me that if he sees me sees me around him, he will run away. He started calling me nasty names, wishing that he had another mother or that I disappear. When I told his father about his gaming and attitude, he apologized, but I doubted that it was a sincere apology. His father told him to stop gaming immediately. He stopped playing for one day, then he started constantly nagging and asking me when he can play again. I threaten him to tell his father which makes him calm down, but until when. He replaced his gaming with watching movies. His father doesn’t object to this and my son keeps complaining that all his friends are gaming and that their parents are ok. I really don’t know where we are heading. He is just 12 years old.

-- Victoria, I don't know my son anymore

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