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. 

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 (ICD-11). 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.

Video Game Addiction Symptoms Causes and Effects

Video gaming addiction is recognized by various groups such as the American Medical Association (AMA) as a condition. Research shows 6-15% of gamers are addicted, and its start to affect their daily life and relationships. It can have a serious cost to people with it but their symptoms can occasionally be difficult to spot. Video game addiction in America can affect many people. 

There are the six signs and symptoms of video game addiction:

  • If someone does not know when to stop
  • If someone is preoccupied with video games
  • If someone has trouble with daily functioning
  • If someone is prioritizing gaming over anything else
  • If someone is unable to cut back on time spent playing games

What Causes Video Game Addiction?

Video gaming happened to be very addictive to the point that if you get hooked your daily life gets affected. The gaming experience can lead to the production of dopamine as they let you get intense experiences and if the stimulator is overexcited it can cause structural changes. This feeling is addictive. 

Also, the fact that gaming companies designed these games as ‘levels’, where you can’t stop playing unless you play the whole game. Furthermore, gaming gives you a world of your own wherein you are safe and in control, as it is your escape from reality. Even the graphics, sounds, and releasing sequels of these games makes the experience more addictive. 

Warning Signs of Video Game Addiction

According to The American Psychiatric Association (APA), 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 can’t stop thinking about the previous or recent gaming activity. Also, he or she is getting restless and can’t 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 (e.g. household chores or schoolwork)
  • 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

Negative Effects of Video Game Addiction

Gaming addiction is considered a psychological disorder that results in heavy psychological damage. Playing for a minimum of 10 hours a day, for some reaching for up to 15 hours of gaming is common among addicts. Normally during the day, many gaming addicts are sleep deprived. Some gamers may have agoraphobia, a phobia, or a type of anxiety disorder wherein they do not leave the house. 

Gaming addicts tend to be irritable, moody, cranky, depressed, and refuse to do schoolwork or do jobs due to their games. Sometimes, our habits can turn into an addiction. When will we consider it as an addiction already? The answer is simple if it affects your academics, professional success, physical health, mental health, and our relationship to others.

Video game addicts are facing a different problem, their academics can be affected because video games are prioritized over doing school stuff. When it comes to professional success, you cannot focus properly on your work because you are always in the idea of playing a video game. 

Even having a lack of sleep and not eating on time can cause some physical disorders. Mentally you are exhausted because you do not know when and how to stop. Our relationships with other people will be affected, as you do not know how to interact with the community or how to deal with other people. 

Also, you do not have enough time to spend with your family. Sometimes, when they lose in playing their games, they are so irritable, resulting in spending more hours on video games. These are the common negative consequences that video game addicts are encountering.

These are the questions you must ask to consider you are having a video game addiction:

  • Am I not doing well in school because I spend most of my time playing video games?
  • Am I not moving forward in my life because my time is taken up by gaming?
  • Is my gaming getting in the way of my sleep?
  • Am I still considered a romantic partner because I do not spend enough time with my spouse?
  • Am I still having a harmonious relationship with my parents and friends because I spend an excessive amount of time playing video games than with them?
  • Am I still able to connect with my friends and have a social life?
  • Am I doing good in life and still motivated?
  • Am I professionally growing?
  • Is my mental health considered healthy?
  • Do I need medical assistance because of suffering eye strains, migraines, and other physical disorders due to too much playing of video games?

Why Video Games Can Be Addictive

The World Health Organization added “gaming-induced disorders” to its official list. Video games affect the brain much similarly to addictive drugs that induce releasing dopamine that has the effect of producing addictive behaviors. 

The use of video games is one way of creating addicting stimuli. The withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, headaches, insomnia, aggressive emotions, and the need for video games. These facts show a potential addiction to gaming and video games. 

It implies that when someone wants to play video games to feel happy. They feel miserable when they can’t play. They feel restless and anxious if they can’t play video games, and are only relieved when they start playing. Much like getting addicted to smoking.

People who are addicted to video games, most often say that this is their form of relief. This can help them minimize their anxiety attacks and sometimes can help their mental health to release stress. This acts as a recreational activity for them not until the time that they were abusive and get addicted to it. Then they end up spending too much time playing. 

Why Is Video Game Addiction So Prevalent?

No definite scientific consensus is established in determining whether gaming is addictive. It regarded Internet Gaming Disorder as an unverified potential diagnosis with the need for additional review by the American Psychiatric Association. 

The APA defines addiction as a psychological disorder that manifests through compulsive substance usage despite the harmful consequences. Consequently, it excludes the possibility of any behavioral addiction.

Only a very little part of gamers show the symptoms of a disorder particularly when it comes to specific symptoms of withdrawal or tolerance. For this reason, several people say over-use of games can act as a habit or become symptoms of another condition.

Why Is Video Game Addiction So Prevalent?

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a form of therapy that offers effective treatment for any form of addiction. As with anything online one parent may want to limit how much time a young child can invest in games.

Preventing addiction disorders before they develop can be cured effectively. Limiting the hours of gaming and ensure you get involved at the end of the day. Exercising can also decrease the negative effects of sitting for long periods while playing video games.

Get Help Today

Are you ready to turn your life around? Do you want to stop your addiction to video games? Do you know someone with a gaming addiction? Get help today! Gaming disorder can be overcome with the help of the counselors and therapists of the Kentucky Counseling Center (KCC)

Do not let gaming addiction affect your relationships, academic performance, home life, and job performance. There are more ways you can spend your precious time rather than play video games. Life is too short, start with your journey to recovery by booking an appointment at Kentucky Counseling Center now. 

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