Many people find gaming entertaining. This is because the brain reacts positively to sensory input provided by the visuals and sounds of the game as if they are real. This is the reason why many laugh or get angry while playing video games.
When a person is engaged in a video game, his brain interprets the scenes as real. His body responds according to the emotions evoked by the game. This “fight-or-flight” reaction to an imagined situation is provoked by the game’s extreme excitement and violence. Excessive game time can cause a state of hyperarousal in the brain.
Each person’s hyperarousal is unique. It might involve issues with paying attention, understanding emotions, managing impulses, meeting deadlines, and dealing with frustration. Some gamers have difficulty expressing sensitivity, which can lead to violence. Therefore, symptoms, causes, and effects differ from one person to another.
Are Games Addictive?
Video games use cutting-edge behavioral psychology to keep you wanting for more. Immersive experiences deliver a high level of dopamine, the brain’s reward center, making you feel good every time you win a game. Over-production of this hormone can anatomically change your brain, leading to health and behavioral issues.
Games are so engaging that it’s easy to lose track of time when playing them for hours. They allow you to retreat from the real world and make you feel good while playing. They are friendly and create an atmosphere in which you’re relaxed and in charge.
Game developers employ controlling game design to keep their business growing. Gaming addiction occurs because video game software are billion-dollar businesses. The more people get addicted to video games, the more profits they earn.
Addiction to Video Games and Its Consequences
Gaming addiction has severe consequences in a person’s life. There are many health effects of too much gaming. An addict will likely spend more than 10 hours every day in front of a screen from morning until nighttime. Because of this, he may suffer from sleep deprivation.
Gamers have terrible diets consisting primarily of energy drinks, which are high in caffeine and sugar. This eating habit makes them dehydrated and malnourished.
In more extreme situations, some gamers report agoraphobia, a form of anxiety in which they dread leaving the house. Some identify with hikikomori, a term for withdrawn individuals who retreat from social life.
Gaming addicts are grumpy, irritated, unhappy, physically violent, and refuse to attend school or work. Addiction to video games damages many aspects of life, and the long-term consequences can be severe. Addicts drop out of college, decide to get a divorce or quit their job.
What Are the Symptoms of Video Game Addiction?
The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has listed nine red flags to look for when you suspect you are addicted to card gaming. And while these symptoms can help you recognize the seriousness of your condition, you should always seek professional advice.
- Obsession with video games. The individual reflects on prior gaming experiences or plans to play the next match; gaming becomes the number one priority daily.
- Withdrawal symptoms show while playing. Typical symptoms include irritation, anxiety, boredom, cravings, and depression.
- The desire to spend more time playing video games than anything else. This may be driven by a desire to gain satisfaction and/or lessen anxieties of losing out by completing time-consuming or challenging tasks.
- This may be driven by a desire to gain satisfaction and/or lessen anxieties of losing out by completing time-consuming or challenging tasks.
- Unsuccessful attempts to minimize video game addiction.
- Loss of interest in former hobbies and leisure except for video games.
- Excessive time spent in gaming continues despite knowing its harm.
- Lying to family members, therapists, or others about his gaming habits.
- Gaming to escape problems or relieve stress.
- Has compromised or lost relationship, educational potential, job, or career growth because of excessive gaming.
If you experience five (or more) of these symptoms within a year, you may be suffering from addiction and should get medical intervention now.
Video Game Addiction Treatment
If you are trapped in a cycle of obsessive gaming, video games can be devastating. The increased popularity of video games has raised consciousness about compulsive gaming, leading to the creation of therapeutic interventions for the addicts’ behavior.
Treatment for gaming addiction focuses on cognitive modification techniques, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which steer the client away from the compulsive thought patterns and obsessive routines that characterize addiction. Group therapy is an excellent source of motivation and emotional support, particularly for people who have lost touch with friends or coworkers due to addiction. Family or marriage counseling can help educate loved ones about the condition and foster more stable family life.These social interventions are proven effective in any cases of different types of addiction.
Patients with depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or other psychiatric illnesses may be given an antidepressant or anti-anxiety prescription therapy. If substance addiction is an issue, the client will require medical detox followed by specialist drug or alcohol misuse therapy.
Gaming addiction may be handled inpatient or outpatient based on unhealthy behavior and the presence of underlying medical or mental disorders. Inpatient facilities provide 24-hour monitoring in a supportive, controlled setting, which may be suitable for those who have struggled to limit gaming.
Outpatient rehabilitation, which includes intense outpatient and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), provides additional flexibility for those unable to participate in inpatient treatment.
Video game addiction is a serious issue that can significantly impact your life.
If you or someone you know suffers from gaming addiction, seek help now. If you aren’t ready to talk but want more information about addiction, chat with us or send us an email. You can reach out to us without the need to reveal your personal identity.
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