Health consequences of unseen game seizures

Video game seizures EEG alterationsChild and adolescent psychiatrist Victoria Dunckley, MD has treated many young people with complex diagnoses and hard-to-treat conditions. She has seen that because electronic media overstimulate the brain, eliminating electronic screen time can be a very effective alternative or complement to psychiatric medications. Dr. Dunckley invited me onto her Psychology Today blog to write about the life-changing discovery that my daughter’s health was affected by unseen seizures from video games. Following is an excerpt:

I learned about video game seizures only after my daughter’s health, behavior, and cognitive functioning had suffered for several years. The effects of video games on her health and her daily function were pretty devastating. We didn’t fully realize how much she’d been impaired by all of the seizures until she got away from the screen. Fortunately, we were able to restore her health and greatly improve her daily life “just” by helping her eliminate video games from her life.  

Here’s a glimpse of what life was like at home when she was gaming for hours each day. Alice seemed “out of it” a lot. Sometimes at the end of the day after lots of screen time she seemed to be on autopilot, in a dazed state. At times she didn’t seem to hear us talking to her. She began showing some odd behaviors that she didn’t remember later. Alice was alarmingly volatile, abnormally fatigued, and she struggled to concentrate in class. She missed a lot of school, because many days she couldn’t be awakened until the afternoon, despite our vigorous efforts. This wasn’t ordinary sleepiness. Read the full story

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