Effects Of Video Game Addiction
Gaming addiction is a compulsive mental health disorder that can cause severe damage to ones life. Its common for a video game addict to spend over 10 hours a day gaming, usually well into the night, and many suffer from sleep deprivation 22.Massively multiplayer online role-playing games: comparing characteristics of addict vs non-addict online recruited gamers in a French adult population×. Immersed in their experience, gamers are known to have poor diets consisting mainly of energy drinks full of caffeine and sugar. Many are dehydrated and malnourished.
In more severe cases, gaming addicts report agoraphobia a type of anxiety disorder in which they fear leaving the house and others identify with hikikomori a term popularized in Japan as reclusive adolescents or adults who withdraw from social life 33.A preliminary cross-cultural study of Hikikomori and Internet Gaming Disorder: The moderating effects of game-playing time and living with parents×.
Gaming addicts tend to be moody and irritable, depressed, physically aggressive, and refuse to go to school or work due to gaming. To be addicted to games is to experience functional impairment in multiple areas of your life, and the long-term effects can be devastating. Gaming addicts fail out of college. They get divorced. And they struggle with unemployment.
But What Does Having A Bonafide Gaming Addiction Actually Look Like
Well, heres how Computer Game Addicts Anonymous describes a gaming addiction:
Having an obsession and compulsion to game, which grows worse over time, and an inability to limit our gaming, despite all the trouble and losses it causes.
Those little games on your smartphone and tablet can seem like harmless little ways to pass the time when youve got nothing better to do.
But it all adds up and stokes the fire.
These trivial pastimes can eat up countless hours and become just as addicting as more sophisticated gaming technologies.
Try To Understand The True Source Of Your Own Gaming Addiction
We all do things for; our own personal reasons. No matter how unconscious those reasons might be.
And often the most crucial step in moderating our habits is being aware of the true source of our own actions first .
So ask yourself why you specifically like to game so much.
This may take a bit of soul searching and more of that brutal self-honesty. But doing so may reveal an intuitive way to solve your problem almost immediately.
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Note: You Dont Necessarily Need Our Program To Do This
On a no-tech/low-tech level, you can lock up your xbox or gaming computer in the garage or attic.
And you could always create rules for yourself and turn the computer off.
Of course, you can always go out and get it if you really want to
But putting even a small obstacle in your own way is often enough to make you stop, think, and decide better.
In any case, we can all agree that having a tool that blocks you from your own distractions can be priceless for quitting or cutting back
And our digital solution cuts off the problem at its root!
Emotional Symptoms Of Video Game Addiction
Some of the emotional signs or symptoms of video game addiction include:
- Feelings of restlessness and/or irritability when unable to play
- Preoccupation with thoughts of previous online activity or anticipation of the next online session
- Lying to friends or family members regarding the amount of time spent playing
- Isolation from others in order to spend more time gaming
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How Are Video Game Addiction And Substance Use Disorders Treated
Video game addiction is best treated using behavioral therapies combined with mutual support groups. Family therapy may also be recommended for children and teens suffering from video game addiction to help repair and strengthen family dynamics. Therapies for video game addiction focus on helping you experience a full social and emotional recovery since many cases of video game addiction stem from poor social skills, low self-esteem, and mental health disorders like depression.
Behavioral therapies can help you overcome negative emotions that may be driving your video game addiction, and reduce your boredom by helping you discover new, fun, healthy activities. These therapies also teach you how to manage and cope with stress more effectively and identify triggers that influence you to use video games as an escape.
Therapies for video game addiction:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- Family therapy
- 12-step support group therapy
Therapies for video game addiction can take place in either an inpatient or outpatient rehab setting, though inpatient treatment is recommended to help you establish a new daily routine minus unhealthy gaming habits. Inpatient rehab can help you recover away from access to video games and negative influences in your life who may be contributing to your addiction.
If you or other members in your household play video games, here are steps you can take to lower the risk for video game addiction:
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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Filling A Hole Of Loneliness With Anything Is A Recipe For Addiction
Instead, maybe its time to fill it with people.
If your relationships with other humans leave something to desire, it may be time to take a few risks and get in the game again.
- Go visit some friends.
- Pick up the phone and catch up with someone you havent talked to in a while.
- Try putting on a weekly dinner party or invite a friend to go out for coffee or a drink.
- Join a club or just attend some special interest events.
- Start practicing the art of striking up conversations with strangers .
If the loneliness has really caught hold and begun to impact your self esteem and quality of life, consider speaking to a counselor or therapist to work through this transition.
Therapists can be invaluable even if all you need is another human to listen.
What Causes Gaming Addiction
Video games are designed to be addictive using state-of-the-art behavioral psychology to keep you hooked. Games are immersive experiences that provide you with a high amount of dopamine, and overexposure to this level of stimulation can cause structural changes to your brain 11.The association between online gaming, social phobia, and depression: an internet survey×.
You begin to live in a world where you expect instant gratification. Games are so immersive that its easy to play for hours and hours without even noticing that a minute has gone by. They allow you to escape and see measurable progress. They are social and create an environment where you feel safe and in control.
Game developers also deploy manipulative game design features such as in-app purchases, microtransactions, and loot boxes that some governments have declared illegal because they are a form of gambling. Gaming addiction exists because game companies are billion-dollar industries and the more people they have hooked on games, the more money they make.
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What Are The Signs Of Video Game Addiction
According to the gaming disorder diagnosis in the ICD-11, signs include:
The inability to control gaming, such as not being able to stop.
Prioritizing gaming over other interests and activities.
Continuing to game despite negative consequences, such as losing a job.
According to the DSM-5 proposed criteria for a potential Internet gaming disorder, signs include:
Preoccupation with gaming.
Symptoms of withdrawal when unable to play video games, such as irritability or anxiety.
Tolerance over timeneeding to play more or more powerful games.
Inability to control gaming.
Loss of interest in other activities.
Excessive gaming despite negative consequences personally or professionally.
Deception about gaming habits.
Gaming to escape negative emotions.
Jeopardizing or losing a relationship, job, or other opportunity due to gaming.
The Brains Reward System
Your motivation to either commit or quit harmful acts is tied to the biological makeup of your brain and your brains reward system. This system is an intricate network of neurotransmitters that are critical to human survival. Your self-control circuit is comprised of: 1. the brain systems that drive you to seek out things that bring you pleasure and, 2. the prefrontal cortex , which applies the brakes when youre about to engage in risky behavior.
In the addicted brain, the underactive PFC can create an imbalance in the reward system and cause you to lose control over your behavior. When this happens, youre more likely to fall victim to your cravings. Having low activity in the PFC often results in impulse control problems and poor internal supervision.
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Getting Help For Video Game Addiction
Recovery is not always easy, but it is achievable. Video game addiction can be just as dangerous as any other addiction and should be treated as such. The first step in overcoming dependency is being able to recognize that it exists. If you or someone you know exhibits any of the signs or symptoms described above, please dont hesitate to find help treating a video gaming addiction. Call our hotline today at to begin the road to recovery.
Are You Feeling Lonely
Feeling lonely is an emotion we all experience, especially if you live in a first world Western country where individualism has been put on a pedestal.
Of course, hiding yourself in games doesnt make you LESS lonely.
Because while games are good for distracting yourself, they dont offer true social interaction, even if youre interacting with other players.
And when the game gets turned off, your social life has deteriorated more than ever
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How Common Is Video Game Addiction
One large-scale study concluded that 1.4 percent of video gamers may have an addiction. Other studies, conducted in various parts of the world and with various age groups and assessment criteria, have revealed prevalences of addiction among gamers ranging from 0.6 percent to 6 percent. Across all of these studies, what is clear is that the vast majority of video gamers do not have an addiction.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Video Game Addiction
Those who suffer from video game addiction tend to prioritize video games above all other activities, tasks and obligations, including personal hygiene, their job, their family, and education. Video game addiction shares many of the same traits, signs, and symptoms of other behavioral addictions, and can worsen the state of your physical, emotional, and psychological health.
A person can be diagnosed with video game addiction if they meet any of the following symptoms:
Other signs of video game addiction include being constantly distracted by video games, only feeling happy when gaming, and spending more time gaming than socializing and interacting with friends and family. If you or your loved one is showing signs of video game addiction, getting professional help today can prevent this behavioral addiction from worsening and affecting other important life areas.
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Are Video Games And Screens Another Addiction
In our increasingly digitalized world, where most of us, and even our children, own electronic devices with screens, many parents and adults worry about the impact of screen use for themselves and their children.
There is much controversy over the effects of screen use and exposure to violence in video games. This year, the American Academy of Pediatrics rolled back some of the strict guidelines for screen time, citing that not all time children spend in front of digital devices is negative. The AAP sought to strike a balance between the increasing dependence on technology and what is healthy for young, developing minds.
Yet, a reason for concern and thoughtful monitoring of screen use remains. A 2014 study conducted by Zhejiang Normal University in China found that young adults who were addicted to online gaming showed lower volumes of gray and white brain matter than young adults in the control group who were not addicted to online gaming. Lower volumes of gray and white matter in some areas of the brain translates to increased difficulties with;decision-making, impulse control and emotion regulation.
In addition, recent studies have found that excessive video game and screen time interferes with sleep, mood and social learning in children and adolescents.
Is screen time damaging?
How can gaming become an addiction?
What can we do?
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What Are The Harmful Effects Of Video Game Addiction
Video game addiction has many harmful effects.
The addiction does not allow children or adults to use their time properly.
There are other adverse effects that include:
- Weight gain
- Back and neck pain due to prolonged sitting
Video games are fun and very entertaining.
If games are played correctly, users gain good benefits.
In fact, video gaming has many benefits if played at the right time and by the right people.
Parents need to check, learn and understand about different types of video games.
But when playing games becomes an issue, they require treatment.
Video game addiction can lead to violent behavior, particularly in young adults.
Some of the most affected are young men under thirty, teenagers, and children.
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Am I Addicted To Video Games How Do I Control It
Do you love playing video games? Or are you getting addicted to it? To play video games for leisure and getting addicted are two different things. However, many gamers are unaware that they are experiencing video game addiction. There are two reasons: you can be in denial or unaware of gaming addiction.;
With the easy access to video games these days, may it be with a PS5, Xbox, even your phone, it really is tempting to easily get hooked. When do you consider yourself a video game addict? Read further so you can learn if you have a gaming addiction and how to get help.;
Coping With Video Game Addiction
While it has long been suspected that video games can cause problems in a persons life if they play them for too long, too often, more recent research confirms that video games do have an impact. There are things, however, that a person can do to reduce the impact of video game playing and reduce the likelihood of video game addiction seriously impacting a persons life.
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So Video Game Addiction Comes With Very Real Life Consequences
As we can see, playing too many hours of video games isnt just a harmless bad habit.
Overplaying has a seriously negative effect on your relationships and work/life balance.
Here are some other long-lasting quality of life problems you may experience when you play too many video games:
Of course, these are just some of the symptoms of playing too many video games. So keep in mind that not everyones addiction manifests in exactly the same way.
Note: Read more about How Violence in Video Games is Affecting Your Mental Health in our bonus material;here.
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.
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Establishing A Healthier Routine
Video Game Addiction Symptoms Causes And Effects
Although it is not yet recognized by the American Medical Association as a diagnosable disorder, video game addiction is a very real problem for many people. According to the University of New Mexico, recent studies suggest that 6 to 15 percent of all gamers exhibit signs that could be characterized as addiction. Though this disorder can have significant consequences to those suffering from it, its signs and symptoms can sometimes be very difficult to recognize.
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