The advent of technology came with its fair share of shortcomings. Today, tens of thousands of young people are a living example of gaming addiction. Mental health professionals have raised awareness about the extent to which people have been “consumed” by computer games.
Often, when a person is in dire need of ever-increasing amounts of anything for satisfaction, it’s likely that they’re suffering from addiction. Gaming addiction is not any different because it’s a culmination of irrational or uncontrolled use of video games. In recent times, this condition has been classified as a form of internet addiction.
So prevalent is gaming addiction that mental health professionals believe it should be considered a condition in its own right. As of now, a growing number of people have opted to seek medical help in the wider world.
As early as 2018, the World Health Organization leapt ahead of the global medical community and classified gaming addiction under the International Classification of Diseases. In making this decision, the organization identified a pattern of recurrent gaming behavior that takes precedence over other life interests.
To better understand gaming addiction, there are a few things that might help to put everything about this condition into perspective:
Gaming Addictions Are Prevalent in Young Men
Mental health specialists agree that gaming addictions are often a preserve of young men aged 30 or below. For such people, gaming is their only way out because most of them suffer from low self-esteem. While these people may be quite intelligent and creative, they can hardly make and maintain friendships.
If need be, it’s essential to take stock of the behavior of an individual who happens to show signs of gaming addiction. Part of your role is to know how long the person plays and observing their response, especially when you propose the idea of introducing time limits on their gaming habits.
Distinguishing Addiction from Normal Enthusiasm
There is a difference between enthusiastic gamers and gaming addicts. The fact that someone is enthusiastic about computer games should not be misconstrued to mean they’re addicted. Such people are hyped up every time a new game hits the streets, but they will hardly find it difficult to let go of the gaming pad.
However, gaming addiction manifests itself in the backdrop of numerous warning signs, such as:
- The urgent need to alter sleeping patterns
- The urge to play longer to elicit some level of enjoyment
- Anxiety and irritability creep in after logging off of a game
- When away from a gaming device, cravings follow suit
- The audacity to skip classes or reporting to work because of gaming
If a person continues to exhibit more of these signs, they are likely battling with gaming addiction. It is crucial to use glasses to protect your eyes if you spend more hours on a computer or other screens. You can enquire from online retailers such as https://www.eyeglasses.com/.
Treatment Is Not Any Different From Food Addiction Treatment
When treating people with compulsive eating disorders, you should always bear in mind that they can hardly go about their lives without food. The same logic applies to gaming addicts because they can’t stay away from digital technology.
If you happen to be a compulsive overeater, you need to master the art of fulfilling a need for food while avoiding situations that provoke the addictive response. Similarly, a gaming addict should be encouraged to use digital technology to be not detrimental to their personal lives.
Gaming Triggers A Physical Response of the Body
The essence of addiction is to ensure the body responds physically. Ultimately, the physical response can be a catalyst for severe withdrawal, especially if the addictive habit is stopped suddenly. While the body response associated with gaming addiction is subtler, it exists.
Many times, gaming addiction coerces the brain to release dopamine, which motivates you to carry on with this activity. Mental health experts consider dopamine to be a powerful element that will often encourage you to keep on repeating a specific behavior.
Stages of Gaming Addiction
It’s worth mentioning that there exists no specific list of the stages through which gaming addiction develops. After all, each scenario is unique because an entirely different game from another may bring it about. Therefore, gaming addiction stages should only act to serve as a rough guide of how the condition may turn out to be a full-blown crisis.
Nevertheless, the most notable stages include:
- Initial Exposure
The likelihood of being a gaming addict may be influenced by your exposure to video gaming. To the extent that your fascination for these games is likely to develop very quickly.
- Deeper Interest
At some point, your urge for gaming may be of greater significance to your life, an aspect that may influence you to invest in software, hardware, and time. While at it, other activities that have been synonymous with your life are likely to take on a diminished significance.
- Growing Obsession
Over time, gaming begins to be a central part of your life. In this case, you will solely direct your thoughts towards gaming and other related activities. To add salt to injury, you’re likely to neglect your relationships because gaming will take up the great majority of your free time.
- Out-and-out addiction
Out-and-out addiction is the most critical stage of this condition because gaming is likely to be the most dominant factor in your life. So dire is this stage that all your energies may be focused upon gaming, possibly at the cost of academic or work progress.
As if that is not enough, dietary and sleep patterns may be affected by constant gaming, and if this trend continues unabated, you’re likely to be dislocated from the real world.
Gaming Addiction and Depression
Mental health experts have classified depression as a cause or consequence of gaming addiction. If you’re so deep into the game, you may feel numb and hopeless because you can hardly identify anything more gratifying than computer gaming.
Since you spend most of your time interacting with a computer game, you might be exhibiting signs of depression. As a result, you’re likely to lose interest in any form of interpersonal communication and relationships. You might find it more comfortable and less daunting to interact with anonymous individuals online.
In its natural form, gaming is a solitary activity that can affect your self-worth. As time goes by, you’ll be diminished by loneliness, poor hygiene, fatigue, obesity, guilt and shame, and lessened career prospects.
How to Prevent Gaming Addiction
As with any addiction, the only possible way you can fail to develop a gaming addiction is by avoiding video games at all costs. However, if you’re yet to develop an addiction, this kind of abstinence may be overcautious.
Be it as it may, you can prevent the possibility of addiction by putting some safeguards in place:
- It would be best if you always had a time limit for any given gaming session
- If possible, avoid the habit of gaming every day, or two days in succession
- If you’re planning on going on holiday, resist the temptation of taking your gaming equipment with you
- Always be receptive to any concerns about the amount of time you spend gaming
- If you happen to notice any signs and symptoms associated with gaming addiction, do not hesitate to reach out to an addiction specialist without fail
If you’re an addict, you can hardly be helped unless you’re prepared to acknowledge that you have a problem. Gaming addiction is not your everyday problem because it can shatter your life, career, and relationships. The key to overcoming this condition is realizing when you have to draw a line and begin taking back control of your own life.