You’ve probably heard of video game addiction, but do you know what it is? Let’s discuss the reality of video game addiction and how it can impact your life. Contrary to popular belief, this disorder is real and affects a small percentage of people. If you or someone you know is struggling with video game addiction, it’s essential to get help.
Read on for more information about this disorder and how to get help.
What Is Video Game Addiction?
According to studies, video game addiction is a real phenomenon, and it’s rarer than you might think. It’s defined as excessive or compulsive use of computer games or video games that negatively affect users. In other words, it’s when gaming becomes an obsession to the point where it negatively impacts your life.
Video games are defined as “electronic games played utilizing images on a video screen and often emphasizing fast action.” Gaming consoles like Xbox, PlayStation, or Nintendo can connect to TVs to display the games. Handheld gaming devices can also be used for this purpose, such as Sony’s PSP handheld consoles.
You can use smartphones and tablets for various activities, including playing games, browsing the internet, checking social media, and streaming videos. Gaming is one of the most popular activities on smartphones and tablets. Digital games are also on the rise due to the increasing popularity of smartphones and tablets.
What Are The Symptoms Of Video Game Addiction?
The symptoms of video game addiction vary from person to person. Some signs of video game addiction include:
- Feeling irritable or restless when you can’t play video games.
- Playing for longer than intended or not being able to stop playing (even if you want to)
- Taking risks online like giving out personal information, meeting strangers in real life, or spending too much money on in-game items
- Losing interest in other activities that were once enjoyable, such as hobbies, work, school, relationships, and socializing
- Experiencing mood swings (e.g., feeling very high after a victory in the game and then very low after a defeat)
- Becoming defensive or secretive about your gaming habits
- There is a feeling of a sense of euphoria while playing video games.
What Are The Risks Of Video Game Addiction?
The risks of video game addiction vary from person to person. However, some risks associated with video game addiction include:
- Declining grades in school or quitting altogether due to excessive gaming
- Habits that can interfere with socializing and relationships, such as isolating oneself from friends and family members
- Financial problems due to spending too much money on video games or virtual items in games
- Adverse effects on physical health, such as obesity, carpal tunnel syndrome, poor vision, and joint pain
- Being addicted to gaming can also lead to mental health conditions like depression or anxiety
How Common Is Video Game Addiction?
Video game addiction is rare, and it’s estimated to affect about 0.03-0.05% of the population. However, you may underestimate this number because people with video game addiction are often reluctant to seek help.
What Can Be Done To Treat Video Game Addiction?
If you or someone you know is addicted to video games, several things can treat the addiction. Some treatment options include:
It may involve individual or group therapy sessions with a therapist specializing in treating video game addiction. The therapist will help you understand why you’re addicted to video games and teach you healthy coping mechanisms.
- Self-help groups
There are also self-help groups available for people with video game addiction. These groups provide a supportive environment where members can share their experiences and learn from each other.
If another mental health condition accompanies the addiction, therapists may prescribe medication to treat that condition.
- Removing gaming devices from your home or limiting the amount of time you can spend playing video games
It may be necessary to help you break the addiction. You can gradually increase the amount of time you spend playing video games once you’ve overcome the addiction.
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How To Define A Gaming Disorder?
The World Health Organization (WHO) has been working on a new classification of mental disorders, which includes Gaming Disorder. The draft document was released in June 2018 and is open for public consultation until September 2018. It would be the first time medical professionals recognized gaming addiction as an official disorder.
- What Is Gaming Disorder?
Gaming Disorder is a condition where the person’s life is negatively affected by their gaming habits. It includes problems with personal relationships, work or school, and physical health. The person must have been engaging in gaming behavior for at least 12 months to be diagnosed with Gaming Disorder.
How Can I Prevent Video Game Addiction?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as the best way to prevent video game addiction will vary depending on the individual. However, some tips to help avoid video game addiction include:
- Limiting the amount of time you spend playing video games each day
- Setting rules for how long you can play video games each day
- Having other interests and hobbies besides video games that you enjoy doing regularly
- Make sure to have some real human interaction every week outside of playing online with friends or teammates from your favorite game(s)
Take Away: Why Video Game Addiction Is Becoming A Mainstream
Game players are addicted to video games for many reasons. Some people play because it’s fun, others need a distraction from the real world, and some want to escape their problems. Some think that playing video games is a healthy activity. But there’s nothing wrong with having an addiction to video games if you’re not hurting anyone.
However, people addicted to video games get to the point where the addiction interferes with their daily lives. It is when video game addiction can become a real disorder. And while it may not be as common as other addictions, it’s still something you should take seriously.