How To Overcome Gaming Addiction
Gaming addiction can be overcome by setting strict time limits on any given gaming session and keeping busy with other stress-relieving activities. Setting specific time limits on daily play can keep an individual away from the possibility of developing a full-blown addiction to video games.
One can try limiting playing time to no longer than two hours each day with the help of a timer on a mobile phone or another device. Discovering other fun activities as a form of distraction is also helpful in curbing gaming addiction.
Individuals often use gaming to escape stressful situations in life. It is critical to develop healthier coping strategies when overwhelmed with stress by discovering other activities to keep you occupied. This is beneficial in establishing a healthier routine that will prevent a person from turning to compulsive gaming when faced with trigger situations.
As with any other addiction, however, overcoming gaming addiction can be a difficult process. Someone who is severely addicted to gaming may need to reach out to a doctor or therapist for professional help.
Why Is Video Game Addiction Controversial
Since there is at least one gamer in 75% of American households, most people probably know at least one person who plays video games regularly. Few people would deny that someone could play videos games too often, and its easy to say that someone is addicted when they really just need to take a break. So is video game addiction even possible?
Currently, there is no scientific consensus on when video game overuse becomes an addiction . For this reason, the American Psychiatric Association has classified Internet Gaming Disorder as an unverified potential diagnosis which requires further review. A 2017 study in the Associations official journal left open the possibility that the classification could one day change. However, it also stated that there is not enough research right now to confirm definitively that overusing video games is an addiction according to the APAs definition. The APA defines addiction as a brain disease that is manifested by compulsive substance use despite harmful consequences. This definition effectively excludes the possibility of any behavioral addictions.
Another source of scientific skepticism is the fact that only a very small portion of gamers ever exhibit any signs of a disorder, especially the specific symptoms of withdrawal and tolerance. For this reason, some scientists and researchers believe that video game overuse is a just habit or a symptom of another disorder and not an addiction in and of itself.
Some Symptoms Could Include:
- Having intense urges for screen time or to play video games, and these urges block out other thoughts
- Spending money on video games or screens, even though you can’t afford it
- Cutting back on social or recreational activities because of preference for screen time or video games
- Continuing to play video games or participate in screen time, even though you know it’s causing problems in your life, such as poor performance at school or work, or letting household responsibilities go
- Displaying signs of irritability, anxiety or anger when forced to stop playing, even for brief periods of time
- Lying to others about the extent of your use
- Needing more screen time over time to get the same level of enjoyment
- Neglecting your appearance, including lack of interest in grooming or clothing
Continued excessive use of screens can result in long-term or permanent changes in the brain that require extensive behavioral and medical treatment to reverse.
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Get Help For Your Video Games Addiction Today
If you’re addicted to video games, these addictive behaviors can eventually cause you a lot of problems. Maybe you’re aware of the problem, or maybe you weren’t aware of it until now. Either way, if you’re dealing with a gaming addiction, it’s so important for you to get help.
Gaming addictions will progress until nothing in your life is as important to you as the game. You may not be able to go to work, maintain healthy relationships, or have a social life. That is the primary way that addiction works. It might seem as though you’re participating in something that’s basically harmless. However, when left alone, gaming addiction can do a tremendous amount of harm.
You don’t need to continue to struggle with your gaming addiction. Trying to stop gaming on your own can be difficult, and for most people, impossible. Professional help is available for you here at Northpoint Washington. We’ve been able to help many people overcome their gaming addictions. For the majority of them, there were underlying issues that also needed to be addressed. These co-occurring disorders can cause an addiction to continue on for years. With the right type of treatment, you can recover, just as so many others have before you.
Would you like to learn more about gaming addiction and getting treatment? If so, we’d like to share with you about our services. Please contact us right away.
Online Gamers Anonymous And Other Gaming Addiction Treatment Options
For the gaming addict, getting treatment is vital for recovery. It’s not enough to just stop playing games. Even the best plan to stop gaming will often fall through. The addiction is just far too powerful. In this way, it is very similar to other types of addictions. Getting the help and support you need is critical if you have a gaming addiction.
There are several ways that you can do this. They include:
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How To Stop Playing Video Games: Seeking Treatment
Treatment for video game addiction is similar to other kinds of addiction treatment. The biggest problem is it is impossible for video game addicts to avoid computers in their day-to-day life. That means they have to learn how to live with computers without falling back into their addictive behaviour.
The rehabilitation process will involve behaviour modification strategies and counselling. A counsellor will also address external problems that might relate to the video game addiction and help the addict understand how to stop playing video games.
Is someone you loved addicted to video games? Take a look at these nine tips thatll help you through a successful intervention.
Why Is Gaming Addictive
Gaming is addictive because the hyperarousal experienced from video games triggers a release of high amounts of dopamine in the reward center of the brain. Gaming is the practice of playing video games using a game console, mobile phone, or computer.
It also serves different purposes for gamers. Gaming can be used for enjoyment, relaxation, socialization, overcoming boredom, and even has health care uses such as pain management as well as occupational therapy. When played in moderation, video games can be beneficial for some people.
The advantages of gaming include better problem-solving skills, increased hand-to-eye coordination, better attention to detail, and improved teamwork skills. However, if gaming develops into a full-blown addiction, the repercussions may outweigh the positive effects of the activity.
Excessive video game use has several disadvantages, including increased aggression, lack of concentration, shorter attention span, poor social skills, physical health risks, and the risk for addiction.
Another factor that makes video games addictive is game design. Video game developers design games with the gamer in mind and are always constantly looking for ways for their creations to be intrinsically interesting. For instance, several games offer different attractions, such as stimulating graphics, good game mechanics, and an interesting variety of choices.
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How Gaming Disorder Is Defined
The WHOs designation of gaming disorder, in so many words, essentially fits games into the modern understanding of addiction:
Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior , which may be online or offline, manifested by: 1) impaired control over gaming 2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behavior and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.
The key consideration here is not any sort of physical symptom. No physical symptoms are mentioned. Its, again, about compulsive use despite negative consequences. This fits with how other addictions are viewed by experts.
This is not a simple diagnosis. You cant say that someone is addicted just because he plays games for more than a certain number of hours a week. Experts like Billieux, in fact, strongly cautioned against that kind of interpretation.
Lying To Others About How Much You Play
A big sign indicating a gaming addiction is when gamers start lying to their loved ones about how much they really play. They could go big and say they play casually a few nights a week, or lie about the number of hours they play a night.
We all tend to have signs that show when we are lying, so this is an easy one for many to figure out. If a friend is the one with the problem then it might be good to bring it up or talk with someone else to help them manage their addiction.
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Gaming Addiction And Depression
Depression and similar disorders have been identified as both a potential cause of and the potential consequence of, gaming addiction. Depression can leave an individual feeling apathetic and hopeless about the future, thus reducing the apparent importance of any long-term work or academic aspirations and increasing the appeal of effectively inconsequential but immediately gratifying activities such as computer gaming.
The often solitary and effectively meaningless nature of computer gaming makes it even more dangerous in this regard, and various vicious cycles can develop as an affected individuals self-worth can become ever more diminished by loneliness, fatigue, obesity, poor hygiene, an inability to communicate successfully with others, lessened employment or career prospects, guilt and shame, and even a poor performance within a game or games.
How Can I Talk To My Partner About Video Game Addiction
Lets get back to the situation we discussed at the beginning: Your partner seems to be spending more and more of their time playing online video games. And theyre doing it to a point where they no longer seem very invested in your relationship.
Youre not an addiction expert, but you are an expert in what you need in a relationship. At some point, youll need to sit your partner down and talk about the problem. Pick a time when youre both well-rested and not in a hurry.
Youre not an addiction expert, but you are an expert in what you need in a relationship.
Listen, you might say, I think you and I are at a crossroads here. I want to be with you, but youre spending so much of your time and energy on gaming that it doesnt feel like were in a real relationship anymore. Im hoping we can get our relationship back.
Maybe theyve been worried about their video game habit, too. If so, thats a good sign. Ask if they have any ideas about what to do, to get themselves back in the real world with you.
You might want to look together at the APA criteria for the newly proposed Internet Gaming Disorder condition.
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The Vast Majority Of Gaming Is Unproblematic But Experts Agree That It Can Become A Problem If Taken Too Far
Theres no doubt that the pandemic changed how we consume media. Streaming subscriptions boomed, for example, leading to both heady economic forecasts for the industry and warnings that too much television can hurt your mental health and increase your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Video games were another popular coping mechanism. According to the Entertainment Software Association, the estimated number of American gamers climbed from 214 million to 227 million about two-thirds of the population and 55 percent said they played more during the pandemic. Gaming was cited as a stress reliever, a distraction, and a way to spend time with friends and family, whether theyre in the same household or on the other side of the world. Surveys suggest that gaming made people happier and less isolated during lockdown.
However, data also suggest that more people are gaming excessively to cope with anxiety, depression and other stressors brought about by the pandemic. Mental health clinics, both general and specialized like the UKs National Centre for Gaming Disorders, have seen spikes in patient referrals. While the vast majority of gaming is unproblematic, it isnt hard to find stories of people who let their health, finances and careers slide into disrepair because gaming became the only way to cope with their problems.
Treatment For Gaming Addiction
Although video game addiction is only immersed comparatively recently , there are now numerous facilities throughout the UK treating the condition, with an increasingly high level of expertise. While treatment methods and models may vary significantly from one facility or organisation to the next, treatment tends to be grounded in therapy in a similar way to that provided for other behavioural addictions and substance abuse disorders.
Cognitive behavioural therapy is at the core of many offerings, but other models such as motivational therapy , motivational interviewing, art therapy, fitness therapy and many others are all available, often in combination with each other the precise composition of a treatment plan would typically be determined after an assessment of each individual by the relevant facility staff.
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Aggression Towards Others Who Limit Your Gaming
The final sign, and the one that makes loved ones wonder what is wrong, is when gaming leads to aggression. This could include physical violence following a loss in a game, or as simple as verbal assault when a gamer is not allowed to play.
There are various levels of aggression, but none of these should be taken lightly as they all point to a problem. Help is always available and it is important to talk to someone if you fear addiction is in your future.
How Can Gaming Become An Addiction
An addiction is defined as a person’s inability to control use of a substance or behavior, despite negative consequences. Some people who are engrossed in screen time or video games while ignoring other normal activities could be close to meeting this definition.
So why does this happen? The reward center in the brain releases dopamine in response to a pleasurable experience or hyperarousal. If a person experiences hyperarousal while playing video games, the brain associates the activity with dopamine. The person develops a strong drive to seek out that same pleasure again and again.
Dopamine is a powerful neurotransmitter in the brain. It helps sustain people’s interest and attention, which is why it can hard for people to tear themselves away from a situation or behavior. It’s also self-reinforcing. The more times people experience the behavior, the more dopamine is released, and the more driven they are to return to the behavior.
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Preventing A Gaming Problem
To keep the amount of time spent gaming under control, try these tips for adults and kids alike:
No one knows whether certain kinds of games are more likely to lead to problem gaming. For the time being, make sure that your child is only playing games rated for their age.
Video Game Addiction Symptoms And Treatment
Video games have captured the imagination of Americans since the 1970s, with the introduction of very simple games. Although the graphic features of these basic programs were primitive compared to todays complex, multifaceted games, many children, teens, and adults quickly became enthralled with this new pastime. It soon became apparent that video games had the potential to consume a large amount of time as the players tried repeatedly to win. Today, video game addiction has been recognized as a process addiction similar to compulsive gambling, in which the rush of winning becomes one of the primary motivations for playing.
In the early days of video games, most games were available only on arcade machines, which were not accessible 24 hours a day. These days, games are one of the most popular features of social network sites, and they can be played almost continuously on handheld game devices, personal computers, or smart phones. Video games have become much more elaborate, with rich alternate worlds, multiple characters, and complicated storylines. Introverted children or teens may find that they can avoid interacting with real peers by engaging primarily with other online players, in the guise of characters with awe-inspiring gifts and powers.
Making Excuses And Lying
People whore addicted to video games will make excuses for their behavior. They might tell themselves they arent doing anything wrong because theyre only playing a game. Its not like theyre drinking alcohol or using drugs.
However, if left unaddressed, the video game addiction will get out of hand. This can make it just as dangerous as other addictions.
When friends and family begin to notice the addiction, the addict will lie about how much time they spend on the game. Theyll make it seem like they dont play video games for longer amounts of time than other gamers.