What is Video game addiction?
Video game addiction, also known as gaming disorder or problematic gaming, is a behavioral addiction characterized by excessive and compulsive use of video games. It is recognized as a mental health condition by the World Health Organization (WHO) and is listed in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).
People with video game addiction often prioritize gaming over other important aspects of life, such as school, work, relationships, and personal hygiene. They may find it challenging to control the amount of time spent playing games, leading to neglect of responsibilities and social withdrawal. This excessive gaming behavior persists despite negative consequences, such as academic or occupational problems, strained relationships, and physical health issues.
Some common signs and symptoms of video game addiction include:
Preoccupation with gaming: Constantly thinking about gaming, planning the next gaming session, or anticipating the next game release.
Withdrawal symptoms: Feeling irritable, restless, or anxious when unable to play games. Tolerance: Needing to play for increasing amounts of time to achieve the same level of satisfaction.
Loss of interest in other activities: Neglecting hobbies, social interactions, and responsibilities in favor of gaming. Continuation despite negative consequences: Persisting in gaming despite experiencing negative effects on physical health, mental well-being, or relationships.
Escapism: Using gaming as a way to escape from real-life problems or emotions. Deception and dishonesty: Attempting to hide the extent of gaming from family, friends, or therapists.
Interference with daily life: Failing to maintain school, work, or personal commitments due to excessive gaming.
It's essential to note that not everyone who plays video games extensively has an addiction. Many gamers can enjoy playing without any negative impact on their lives. Video game addiction becomes a concern when it starts to interfere significantly with a person's overall well-being and functioning.
If you suspect that you or someone you know may be struggling with video game addiction, it's crucial to seek professional help from mental health experts who specialize in addiction or behavioral disorders. Therapy and support can be effective in addressing gaming addiction and helping individuals regain control over their lives.
What Causes Gaming Addiction?
Video games are designed to be addictive using state-of-the-art psychological techniques to keep you hooked. Games create an immersive experience that provides you with a high amount of dopamine, which can cause structural changes in your brain. The association between playing video games and positive effects is due to our natural addiction to them. A study found that between online gaming and social phobia, there is a link to depression.
Games are so engaging that it’s easy to play for hours and hours without realizing that a minute has passed. They allow you to escape and see measurable progress. They are social, which creates an environment where you feel good about yourself. Be safe and in control while working with decoupage.
Game developers also use manipulative game design features, such as in-app purchases and loot boxes, which some governments have declared illegal - because they are forms of gambling. Gaming addiction exists because game companies are billion-dollar industries and the more people who become addicted, the greater their profits. People who are hooked on video games make more money.
What Are the Warning Signs?
The American Psychiatric Association has identified nine warning signs that may help you to better understand the severity of your own gaming disorder. Although these signs may be helpful, it is always important to seek the advice of a professional.
Preoccupation with video gamesThe individual becomes preoccupied with gaming activity or anticipates playing the next game; gaming becomes the dominant activity in daily life.
Withdrawal symptomsWhen gaming is taken away, these symptoms typically occur: irritability, anxiety, boredom, cravings or sadness.
ToleranceVideo games are becoming increasingly time-consuming, and some people may be playing them for the satisfaction of completing difficult goals or to reduce their fear of missing out.
Unsuccessful attempts to control participation in video games.
Loss of interests in previous hobbiesAside from entertainment, other activities include playing video games.
Continued excessive useThe individual continues to play games despite knowing about their psychological problems.
Parents or other family members can talk to therapists about their gaming habits.
Playing video games can help relieve a negative mood.This passage may refer to feelings like helplessness, guilt, and anxiety.
A relationship has been harmed or lost due to a significant event.Video games can create opportunities for educational or career growth because of the participation.
If you meet five or more of the following warning signs in a 12-month period, you may have an addiction and should seek professional help.
Effects of Video Game Addiction
Gaming addiction is a mental health disorder that can cause severe damage to your life. It's common for someone who is addicted to video games to spend over 10 hours a day gaming, and many suffer from sleep deprivation. Games: Comparing the characteristics of addicts and non-addicts who participated in an online survey in a French adult population. Gamers who are immersed in their experience tend to have poor diets that consist mainly of energy drinks with caffeine and sugar. Many are dehydrated and malnourished.
Some people who are addicted to video games develop agoraphobia - a type of anxiety that makes them afraid to leave their homes - and others identify with hikikomori - a Japanese term for individuals who withdraw from social life. A preliminary study found that... A study of Hikikomori and Internet Gaming Disorder will look at how playing time and living arrangements affect the results.
People who are addicted to playing video games are often moody and irritable, depressed, and physically aggressive. They may also refuse to go to school or work because of their gaming addiction. When someone is addicted to games, they experience functional impairment in multiple areas of their lives, which can be very damaging. Unemployed college graduates often struggle. They get divorced and may have a hard time finding work.
Video Game Addiction Test
If you want to screen yourself for a video game addiction, read the nine warning signs and symptoms above or take our short quiz.
If you are concerned about your gaming use, we recommend seeking help from a therapist.
Is addiction a problem with underlying mental health issues?
Some people argue that video gaming is better understood as a way for people with mental health problems to cope with their problems, rather than having video gaming considered an independent disorder. Is this true?
No, comorbidity - the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or conditions in a patient - is common, and gaming disorder is no exception. Both sides of the story: Addiction is not just a pastime activity. If you overdo it with gaming, it will be a way of coping with another condition and it may progress to an addiction to gaming. 5 5. Behavioral addictions and substance addictions are similar because they involve compulsive behavior that is like the behavior of substance-related disorders. Excessive gaming will be caused by a lack of physical or mental health.
Therapeutic goals should include treatment of the gaming disorder itself, as it can cause functional impairment. If the gaming disorder came first, then therapeutic goals should also include treating the underlying mental health problems. There are comorbid conditions that can be treated when treating Internet addiction (IA). These conditions include attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, social phobia, and hostility. Psychology is a comprehensive field of study that examines the behavior of people.
How to Treat Video Game Addiction
You are not alone in your struggles. Gaming disorder has been recognized as an official disease, so more and more people are able to get the help they need. The most important thing to remember is that you will get through whatever difficulties you face.
There are resources available to help someone who is struggling with gaming disorder. Game Quitters is an online community with hundreds of free videos, a forum, and a program that is affordable for both gamers and their parents.
If you want professional help for a video game addiction, you can browse our directory to find a therapist.
If you're having trouble imagining your life without games, take a look at our library of video game addiction stories. Hundreds of people have successfully overcome their gaming addictions through Game Quitters, so you can too.
Making a change to your gaming lifestyle might not be as difficult as you think. A year from now, you won't regret not taking action sooner.
Take a break from gaming for 90 days and see how your life improves.
How can I quit Video game addiction?
Quitting video game addiction can be challenging, but it is definitely possible with determination and a structured approach. Here are some steps to help you overcome video game addiction:
Recognize the problem: Acknowledge that you have an addiction and understand its negative impact on your life. Acceptance is the first step towards change.
Set goals: Define why you want to quit gaming and set clear goals for yourself. Whether it's improving your physical health, academic or professional performance, or having more meaningful relationships, having clear objectives will motivate you to stay on track.
Create a support system: Talk to friends and family about your decision to quit gaming. Their support and encouragement can make a significant difference. Consider joining support groups or online communities where you can connect with others who are also trying to overcome video game addiction.
Limit access to games: Remove games from your devices or, if necessary, limit gaming time to a specific period each day. Use apps or tools that can help you track and control your gaming habits.
Identify triggers: Recognize the situations or emotions that lead you to play video games excessively. Boredom, stress, loneliness, or a need for escapism are common triggers. Find alternative activities to engage in during these times.
Explore new hobbies: Find activities that you enjoy and that are fulfilling outside of gaming. Consider sports, arts, reading, or learning a new skill.
Create a schedule: Develop a daily routine that includes time for work/study, physical activity, social interaction, and relaxation. Having a structured schedule can help you manage your time more effectively and reduce the temptation to play games excessively.
Stay physically active: Regular exercise not only promotes physical well-being but also releases endorphins, which can improve your mood and reduce cravings for gaming.
Practice self-care: Take care of your mental and emotional health. Practice mindfulness, meditation, or relaxation techniques to cope with stress and negative emotions.
Seek professional help: If you find it challenging to quit gaming on your own, consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor who specializes in addiction. They can provide personalized strategies and support tailored to your situation.
Avoid gaming-related content: Stay away from gaming-related media, such as YouTube channels or forums, as they can trigger cravings and make it harder to quit.
Celebrate progress: Acknowledge and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Quitting an addiction is a journey, and every step forward is a victory.
Remember, overcoming video game addiction takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself, and don't be discouraged by setbacks. Stay committed to your goals and keep pushing forward. You can do it!.