Dear Carol

"Dear Carol, I'm worried that my brother might be addicted to video games"

Dear Carol,

My parents are fighting about my brother being addicted to video games. He’s 17 and spends almost all day in his room. He never really says good night or goes to bed—he just plays until he passes out (then oversleeps, which drives my parents crazy). Can you be addicted to gaming?

- Is My Bro Addicted?

Dear Is My Bro Addicted?,

Yes. People get addicted to alcohol and drugs and cigarettes and vaping—but addiction can also include things like shopping, social media, gambling and gaming. Sure, many kids play video games to decompress and connect with friends. But it is cause for concern when someone can’t control when they start and stop or when the behavior cuts into self-care and relationships. I hope your brother is able to recognize he has a problem and is willing to build better habits and get his life back in balance. A mental health expert or counselor may be able to help him break free from the shackles of gaming.

Carol Weston is the author of 16 books. The latest is Speed of Life, about a teen girl who writes to an advice columnist. Check out for more.

Want more family advice? Check out more Dear Carol here:
"Dear Carol, My grandmother is struggling with her memory, and it's been really hard on my family"
💟 "Dear Carol, I moved in with my mom, but I miss my dad"
💟 "Dear Carol, how do I convince my parents to support my dream?"

We want to hear from you! Go here to submit questions to Carol about every sticky sitch life throws at you.


by GL | 4/12/2024