I Would Be Wasting My Time On Reddit Or Youtube Anyway
How is it worse than watching sports or TV?
Its fun, everyone enjoys a hobby, why shouldnt mine be gaming?
The problem with games is that they can suck you in too much. After you watch a game of sports on TV or finish a movie, its over.
Games and especially multiplayer games nowadays are designed to never let you go and ideally want you to log in every day. The games are designed to be never-ending and they are always being updated . They offer daily quests and rewards and competitive leaderboards. The message is clearif you want to be awesome, you need to play every day.
Im not claiming that these other activities are better, but theyre simply less captivating and you can step out of them more easily. Reading jokes or browsing memes eventually becomes less fun over time. You can do it for an hour or so and then youre like nevermind, lets do something else instead. On the other hand, games can make you forget about everything else for a long time.
Common Excuses Used To Rationalize Gaming
People often have very reasonable excuses for why they find gaming acceptable. These excuses are valid at first but after you take a further look, you can refute most of them easily:
Ways To Know If You Are Addicted To Video Games
Its not easy to admit to a video game addiction. Mostly because video games are fun! How can anything fun be an addiction, right? But video game addiction is real, and many people who have this addiction may not even realize that they have a problem.
I am a recovered video games addict. My several-month problem cost me my free time, my sleep, my grades, and my social life. Giving this addiction up wasnt easy. Fortunately, there are a number of warning signs of addiction that Ive come to realize since retaking my life.
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Which Games Are Most Addictive
Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games can be especially addictive because theres no ending in a classical sense. Unlike old-fashioned games like Super Mario Brothers, where you win when you save the princess, you cant rescue the princess in an MMORPG.
Indeed, even in online games that produce a clear victor by the end, it need only be a matter of seconds until the player joins the next game. Because each game presents a new challenge and new opponents, boredom is unlikely to set in as quickly as it would if you simply repeated the same scripted levels over and over.
Find out more:The Most Addictive Video Games
Why Are Video Games Addictive
Written by Steve Rose
On the go? Listen to the audio version of the article here:
Each video game is addictive for different reasons. Also, each person may find different elements of a game addictive. Although every case is unique, there are general patterns that can help explain why video games are addictive.
Video games are addictive because they help meet our basic psychological need for a sense of freedom, purpose/progress, and social connection.
Lets take a closer look at each of these factors.
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Physically Suffering Because Of Gaming
When gamers find it hard to quit, or even put the game down for a second, it can cause their health to suffer. This could include things like lack of sleep, not eating proper meals, or even poor hygiene.
It can cause a person’s health to degrade as they develop more serious illnesses due to their bodies not functioning properly. The best way to handle this is to make sure that gamers are taking care of themselves first and playing games second so they can be healthy, while still finding happiness.
Antidepressant Drug Addiction Dependence And Withdrawal In Online Addicts
Due to the evident link between video game or Internet addiction and depression, it is not surprising that many addicted gamers take antidepressant medication to help with the symptoms. Though most healthcare professionals consider this type of medication to be safe and effective, it also comes with its own set of risks and side effects. One factor to consider before beginning antidepressant medication is that it may be difficult to stop taking it. It is common to experience withdrawal symptoms, including anxiety, irritability, nausea and dizziness. In more serious cases, it is possible to experience depression as a symptom of withdrawal from the medication. This depression can be even more severe than the original depression, leading the patient to believe that the illness has returned.
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Addiction Or Underlying Mental Health Problem
In the debate around video game addiction, you often hear the objection that gaming is better understood as a coping mechanism for underlying mental health problems such as anxiety, depression, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder , and not a disorder in its own right. Is this true?
No. It is widely established in the addiction field that comorbidity the simultaneous presence of two chronic diseases or conditions in a patient is common, and gaming disorder is no exception 4
Other Mental Health Resources
If you are struggling with other mental health issues or are looking for a specialist near you, use the Psychology Today therapist directory here to find a practitioner who specializes in your area of concern.
If you require a lower-cost option, you can check out BetterHelp.com. It is one of the most flexible forms of online counseling. Their main benefit is lower costs, high accessibility through their mobile app, and the ability to switch counselors quickly and easily, until you find the right fit.
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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.
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.
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Video Game Addiction Definition
What does video game addiction really mean? The World Health Organization has defined gaming as a Game Disorder or Gaming Disorder under its International Classification of Diseases . The difference between a hobby to past time as well as the negative repercussions of gaming. It is spending too much time playing video games even though a gamer is already experiencing negative effects.
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.
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Do Video Games Help With Depression
Many people use video games to cope with depression. This is not necessarily healthy since it is easy to get addicted to video games if you are already depressed. People start playing games because they are a safe place to escape the real world. You can lose yourself in a virtual environment and push away the emotional pain that you experience in real life.
It is common for children and adolescents to start playing games to escape bullies that threaten them in real life and online. They can find people in online communities who do not judge them for being overweight, having acne, or being poor. They feel that people on the internet judge them for who they are as a person, and not the circumstances in their life that they cannot control as a teenager. That is why games are appealing to them, and that is how they use video games to cope with depression.
Data from fMRI scans show that gaming suppresses negative emotions. This is why video games are so effective at helping people cope with depression. They shut off the negative emotion circuitry in your brain, and stop you from feeling sad, ashamed, or lonely.
Your Daily Schedule Revolves Around Gaming
What is your sleep schedule? Do you even have a sleep schedule? These might seem like no-brainers, but oftentimes when we have an addiction, we feel no shame as we rearrange everything else in our day to accommodate our vices. If you find yourself routinely staying up later than normal, waking up earlier than normal, or not sleeping at all to play video games, please take an honest look at your hobby.
I often found myself sleep-deprived, very crabby, and unable to focus in school. The end result? I sometimes crashed in the middle of the day, totally messing up my sleep schedule. At one point, I was almost completely nocturnal. I missed important events and my grades took a hit. Most times, I couldnt have even told you what day it was.
If youre often disoriented because video games have altered your sleep schedule, you have a problem. Video games are dictating your waking and sleeping hoursnot you. If this isnt controlled, it will begin to affect your mood and your healthnot to mention your grades, your job performance, and your social life!
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Warning Signs Of Video Game Addiction
According to The American Psychiatric Association , there are nine signs to watch out for to consider in order to recognize gaming addiction disorder. These can be helpful to understand better the seriousness of the situation of video game addiction.
- Getting preoccupied with playing video games, the gamer cant stop thinking about the previous or recent gaming activity. Also, he or she is getting restless and cant wait to play the video game. He/she plays video games for the most part of the day and is unable to finish more important tasks
- Withdrawal symptoms when a gamer has been taken away or is unable to play video games. Irritability, restlessness, anxiety, depression, boredom, and craving may be experienced.
- Tolerance when it comes to the urge to allocate an increasing time getting engaged in video games.
- Ineffective control to stop playing video games
- Loss of interest in healthy hobbies enjoyed before. The only thing he or is interested in is playing video games.
- The too much-playing video game is continuous despite mental, physical, physiological health disorders.
- Has deceived other people like friends, therapists, family members regarding their video game addiction.
- Resorts to video games as an escape to reality
- Relationship problems due to video game addiction
Video Game Addiction Is Officially A Mental Illness: Should You Worry
Five more minutes!
This is the sound you hear every time you tell your child to get off the video games for the night. But you dont hear it once. You hear it over and over again.
If it seems your childs love of video games has taken over their life and youre genuinely worried about his/her well-being, it could be headed towards what the World Health Organization has officially classified as a mental health disorder: gaming disorder.
Simply enjoying video games and playing them off and on, or easily getting caught up in video games for hours on end but eventually turning off and returning to other activities may not signify gaming disorder or video game addiction, according to the WHO. Its when the technology starts interfering with personal, family, or social health that it can officially become a problem that leads to other negative consequences.
Signs of video game addiction you can look for as a parent include:
- Impaired control over gaming
- Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities
- Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences
For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behavior pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months, said the WHO.
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Mistake #: Allowing Just One More Level
When asked to shut off the video-game system, most children rarely obey without first trying to prolong their play. Invariably they respond with a plea for just one more level or more time to defeat the current villain. As a result, many parents end up allowing their child to spend much more time playing video games than they intended.
As one recovering video-game addict said, “If you say you intend to restrict the amount of time a child spends, you better ask yourself whether you can really do it. Kids are very good at pushing and pushing for more time.”
Constantly Thinking About Gaming
This will not be as obvious to a friend or family member as it would to the gamer themselves. They will find that their every thought leads them to think about gaming, and it even invades their dreams.
It is the only thing they will be able to think about day after day no matter what major events happen in their life. This is one sign that might have a gamer reevaluating their sense of self as they learn to put down the game and get themselves back on track.
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Know When To Find Professional Help
If your partners video game playing has veered into full-blown addiction , its time to call in some extra support. Consult a couples counselor and voice your issues in a session, encouraging your husband to come along. Once you both have a clear idea of the difference between healthy and unhealthy habits, you can get on the same page and, if youre both committed, work back toward a closer relationship.
What Makes A Video Game Addictive
Most adolescents like to spend at least part of their free time playing video games. But for some, what starts out as innocent recreation can become an addiction.
Soon, friends, family, school, and even personal hygiene are neglected as nearly every spare moment is spent playing the game.
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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.