JOPLIN, MO-- When you think of addiction - it's likely about drugs or alcohol ... a habit that's tough to break. But there are also what's known as "soft" addictions - a compulsion to keep playing video games or an obsessive need for sex or gambling.
"Typically it's a very different step for people to take that step. Because if people take that first step, I'm acknowledging that the pacifier that I've been using is unhealthy and that I'm willing to get rid of this." And whether that's sex or gambling or video games, making a change can be tough. Counselor James Childers says you'll know it's time as the problems grow. "What I look at is the social life, your family, legal, occupational, health or finance. If you've got a negative impact in one, it's starting to become problematic."
In the early stages, you can try to tackle it on your own, building limits to the negative behavior. Childers said, "I really focus on boundary setting. If you're saying that x amount of dollars on shoes a months is problematic for you, x amount of dollars on video games is problematic for you, I would say, 'What is acceptable?' And if I can maintain those boundaries, maintain x amount of hours, then I would say really you've solved your own problem."
For those who need outside assistance, the Ozark Center also offers counseling including state certified intervention for technology addiction. For more information, click here.