You Develop Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is something that causes pain, numbness, and tingling in your hand, fingers, and wrist. This condition is usually developed by those who spend a lot of time on the computer, and it can point to addiction if this is developed at a young age.
It is all fun and games until your body starts responding to the stress of your addiction as it tells you it is time to stop. Some take the hint, while others keep playing and end up in worse situations.
How Is Playing Video Games Every Day Costing Your Life
Well, I can tell you this much. Playing video games every day is costing you money. You are spending money on it, but also you are spending your time, which is worth a lot of money. In fact, you are spending time which you could use to build a business to make more money in order to create the life that you really want. In fact, oftentimes I call TV or video games an electronic income reducing machine. The more time you spend doing it, the more money you are losing. You are losing the potential of earning more money.
You need to realize that it’s costing you money, that you are wasting away valuable time that you could spend improving yourself, going on adventures, learning, and having intimate relationships with real human beings. All these different things are incredibly valuable. Also, it can link to depression, anxiety, and stimulation overload. You need to realize the negative consequences associated with it, and get to a point where you decide, You know what? Never again.
You have got to make a real decision. You have got to get it out of the house. Sell it. Do whatever you have got to do. Give it to a friend. Close it down. Get banned. Set up software so that it disables you from even using it. Again, you have got to replace it with something else. There are going to be times where you are going to feel bored, stressed, alone, or depressed and you’re going to want to go to that crux that you’ve used in the past in order to escape and to feel good.
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.
Scroll to Find Your Insurance
You May Like: What Is The Most Addictive Illegal Drug
What Are Some Other Types Of Behavioral Addictions And How Does Video Game Addiction Compare
Gambling disorder is the first recognized addiction to not involve alcohol or other drug use. This and other behavioral addictions really challenge the conventional thinking about what addictions are and how they form.
Experts now believe that any behavior that offers a significant reward can become an addiction. They are investigating a range of behavioral addictions like:
A part of video games that make them addictive is the way you receive the reinforcement. In a way that mirrors a slot machine, many video games offer rewards that seem inconsistent or unexpected, so when you conquer a boss, uncover a treasure, or level up, the accomplishment will send a surge of dopamine in your brain.
Debates On The Classification
A meta-analytic review of pathological gaming studies concluded that about 3% of gamers may experience some symptoms of pathological gaming. The report noted problems in the field with defining and measuring pathological gaming and concluded that pathological gaming behaviors were more likely the product of underlying mental health problems rather than the inverse.
Barnett and Coulson expressed concern that much of the debate on the issue of addiction may be a knee jerk response stimulated by poor understanding of games and game players. Such issues may lead both society and scholars to exaggerate the prevalence and nature of problematic gaming, and over-focus on games specifically, while ignoring underlying mental health issues.
Other scholars have cautioned that comparing the symptoms of problematic gaming with problematic gambling is flawed, and that such comparisons may introduce research artifacts and artificially inflate prevalence estimates. For instance, Richard Wood has observed that behaviors which are problematic in regards to gambling may not be as problematic when put into the context of other behaviors that are rewarding such as gaming. Similarly, Barnett and Coulson have cautioned that discussions of problematic gaming have moved forward prematurely without proper understanding of the symptoms, proper assessment and consequences.
Also Check: How To Cure An Addictive Personality
Skipping School Or Classes
I have seen firsthand how game addiction can affect a teens performance in school. You often find them skipping classes or develop cold feet towards learning.
Theyll feel tired of doing class assignments, which can result in bad marks at school. And the moment they start skipping school, they increase their chances of dropping out of high school and may end up with more challenges down the line, according to CRC Health.
Note: Other symptoms and effects of game addiction are irritability, extreme anger, and depression. Youll often notice these vices in your kid if you lose closely. These are all indicators of game addiction.
How Gaming Affects The Brain
As with any behavioural addiction, gaming addiction is a disorder of the brains reward system. High levels of an addictive stimulus in this case, video gaming experienced over time initiate the production of increasingly large quantities of dopamine in the brain, which stimulates receptors which in turn drive the impulse to repeat the behaviour in question.
Up to a point, the more frequently this is repeated, the more easily dopamine production is stimulated after a while, however, the brain develops a tolerance to high levels of dopamine, and thus the individual in question feels compulsion to engage in the addictive behaviour in other words, to play video games more and more often in order to feel the same level of satisfaction and pleasure which was initially experienced.
Moreover, once this tolerance has developed, stopping the addictive behaviour will result in unpleasant sensations driving cravings until enough time has passed that the brain chemistry has normalised and the addiction has been quashed though cravings to resume the addictive behaviour may recur for months or even years after the last instance of engaging in it.
Don’t Miss: How To Avoid Drug Addiction
How Can A Video Game Addiction Impact Your Mental And Physical Health And Your Life In General
The negative effects of video game addiction on your physical and mental health are numerous. The physical health harms of excessive video game playing and video game addictions include:
No one knows if playing video games causes these issues or if having these issues increases the risk of video game addiction. The connection is present, though.
When Gaming Becomes An Addiction
There is some controversy over whether video gaming is an addiction comparable to gambling, drug abuse, or alcoholism.
Psychology Today states that the comparison between video gaming and gambling is flawed, because there are no financial stakes or material losses involved with video games. Winning a video game requires cognitive skills and sharp reflexes, while winning at gambling is a matter of luck.
However, according to WebMD, video game addiction can be considered a type of impulse control disorder.
The source of the addictive quality of gaming is still unknown, but researchers propose that the process of playing and winning these games may trigger a release of dopamine, a brain chemical that elevates mood and provides a rush of energy. Dopamine is the same neurotransmitter involved in other addictive activities, such as alcohol or drug abuse.
Video game addiction is not currently recognized as an addictive disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the definitive guide to psychiatric illness. But an obsessive preoccupation with games at the expense of real-life activities or obligations shares some of the characteristics of addictive behavior. How can a parent tell when gaming has stopped being simple entertainment and become an addiction? Here are a few of the key warning signs to watch for:
Also Check: Why Do People Get Addicted To Opioids
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.
Video Games Can Do A Lot Of Good Too
Part of the concern here is that stifling video games could substantively harm people. Games are now used in education all the time. Some places, like Radboud Universitys Games for Emotional and Mental Health Lab in the Netherlands, are now studying the use of video games for therapy. Theres even some early research into prescription video games, trying to see how games especially with the advent of virtual reality could be used to help treat mental health conditions.
But beyond a medical setting, video games entertain people. They can let people relax after a hard day. They can provide an escape. All of these are real benefits that help people on a daily basis.
With the news of the WHOs designation earlier this year, I began to think about my own gaming, particularly back when I was in high school. I spent a lot of time playing World of Warcraft 40 hours a week, if not more.
I did not have the problems that Scott did. I got mostly As in high school, went to college and studied journalism, went to parties, hung out with friends on weekends, and spent time with my family.
In fact, looking back, I still think World of Warcraft was good for me. As a closeted gay teen, it was the one space where I found a group of friends I could be totally open with. I came out to them long before I came out to anyone I knew in my real life. Having a safe space online made my early gay life a lot more bearable.
Don’t Miss: How To Overcome Addiction Alone
Gaming Addiction And Substance Abuse
It is by no means uncommon for an individual to suffer from more than one addiction or even more than one type of addiction at once, and many behavioural addictions are often found to cooccur with substance abuse disorders. This condition of cooccurrence sometimes called dual diagnosis or dual disorder typically requires specialised treatment of a more complex kind than that provided to individuals suffering from only one addiction.
Partly because video game addiction is a comparatively new phenomenon, and partly because of the aforementioned lack of unanimity regarding its diagnostic status, the extent to which those suffering from gaming addiction may be especially susceptible to substance abuse disorders has not yet been particularly well established.
Some research suggests that many gamers even those identifying as problem gamers may actually be less likely to develop substance abuse disorders as their brains reward centres are already being stimulated in a similar way to how they would be under the influence of drugs. On the other hand, it is clear that in certain cases gaming addiction has developed subsequent to the establishment of addiction to drink and/or drugs, and similarly that in other cases, it has pre-existed.
On the other hand, some gamers may turn to drugs especially stimulants such as cocaine to give them what they believe will be a performance-enhancing edge, and/or help them stay awake for longer periods during protracted gaming bouts.
What Can You Do If Your Child Is Addicted To Video Games
When help is needed, step in. Parents need to understand that when their student becomes addicted, the parent is interacting with their addiction, rather than their son or daughter. At this point, it is necessary to get professional help for the gamer, Whatley says. This can take the form of an intervention, intensive therapy, removing all video games from the students access or engaging in 12-step and accountability programs, or perhaps all of the above.
The parent should be patient during their gamers recovery, due to the fact that the gamers brain structure changes due to long term gaming, and it takes months of no gaming to return to its normal non-addicted state, Whatley points out. Helping the gamer find new and healthier habits is imperative. Most growth for addicts takes place in group therapy, so finding a 12-step group for your gamer is a must.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Help Someone Addicted To Drugs
Leverage Tools To Manage Game Time
Another thing you can do to help an addicted kid is to leverage tools such as Kitchen timer and other third-party tools.
Tools can be handy when you want to properly track their time. You can also install a timer on your teens computer so their computer turns off automatically after 1 hour or as specified.
You can also play video games with your kids. That way youll be able to track their time more efficiently. After all, youre not addicted to gaming, so your head is intact.
Essentially, you can limit your teen from playing certain immersive games. World of Warcraft is a good example of an immersive game.
If you want your child to cut back on excessive gaming, you can install Cold Turkey Blocker. This program will automatically block certain games on your computer.
How Do Youovercome Video Game Addiction
How do you deal with video game addiction if your spouse doesadmit that he is addicted?
If youre as lucky as I was and your intervention issuccessful, youll want to be prepared with information for your husband about howto quit his video game addiction.
OLGA is a great resource for him too.
Like AA, OLGA has meetings for addicts, and they are available nightly.
OLGA also has a 12-step program for addicts, and they can even get their own sponsor to help them through this process of video game addiction recovery.
There is a public forum for video game addicts, as well as a private one.
Keep in mind that his recovery is his.
You can be supportive by pointing him in the right direction to find help, offering him encouragement, telling him you are proud of him and helping him to celebrate his video game sobriety .
But it is up to him to do the work himself.
While he focuses on his recovery, make sure you continue tofocus on taking care of yourself too.
Can You Really Be Addicted To Video Games
The latest research suggests its not far-fetched at all especially when you consider all the societal and cultural factors that make todays games so attractive.
Charlie Bracke cant remember a time when he wasnt into video games. When he was 5, he loved playing Wolfenstein 3D, a crude, cartoonish computer game in which a player tries to escape a Nazi prison by navigating virtual labyrinths while mowing down enemies. In his teenage years, he became obsessed with more sophisticated shooters and a new generation of online games that allowed thousands of players to inhabit sprawling fantasy worlds. Ultima Online, World of Warcraft, The Elder Scrolls he would spend as much as 12 hours a day in these imaginary realms, building cities and fortifications, fighting in epic battles and hunting for treasure.
His life there fell into a familiar rhythm: He woke up, went to work, returned home, played video games until late and repeated the whole cycle. It did not strike me as weird at all, he recalls. It felt a lot like high school, but with work instead of classes. And the time I used to spend hanging out with friends was gone, because they had moved to different areas, he says. And I kind of just thought that was the way of the world.