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Video Game Addiction: Everything You Need to Know

Video Game Addiction: Everything You Need to Know

An increase in screen-time owing to online classes/ work from home culture and social media usage impacts sleep cycle, interpersonal, and intrapersonal relationships. Addiction to video games and screens can leave the user vulnerable to mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. Read on to find out the risk factors, signs of .game addiction

Recognising addiction is the first step of recovery.  If you or your loved ones have been showing signs of game addiction, seek professional help from a gaming de-addiction centre. Cadabams has about 3 decades of experience in facilitating treatment for any kind of addiction with a multispeciality and experienced team. Call us on our 24/7 helpline at +91 96111 94949 or mail us at info@cadabams.org for any queries or support.  

The much-acclaimed Greek physician Hippocrates had once said, “Everything in excess is opposed to nature.” This is true of anything and everything including hobbies that turn into an obsession, with time. A classic example is gaming habits that can turn into an addiction, if not controlled in time. Numerous experts have questioned the impact of prolonged video gaming habits. Studies regarding game addiction have mostly been inconclusive. However, they have all discussed the harmful effects of being glued to video games for prolonged hours.

The World Health Organization classified gaming disorder as a possible mental health disorder in the 2018 version of the medical reference book ‘International Classification of Diseases’ (ICD).  A report published in the International Journal of Community Medicine and Public Health cited how internet gaming addiction in India continues to be prevalent among 3.5 percent of the school children, the frequency of use being more in male students than their female counterparts.

Signs of Video Game Addiction

Though there is no singularly accepted definition of gaming addiction, psychologists have warned against possible signs that we must watch out for. Labeled as warning signs of problem video gaming, be it online or offline, parents must take care to rid their wards of such unwarranted dependence that might augment and transform into something more undesirable and unfortunate. Some of them include:

  • Thinking about video games even when not playing
  • Feeling stressed or restless when not playing
  • Spending excessive timing in playing video games
  • Inability to quit or play for a lesser number of hours
  • Warning signs of irritability or anxiety when asked to stop playing
  • Complete disinterest in other kinds of games or hobbies
  • Sudden decline in personal hygiene
  • Lack of concentration in studies due to the continued focus on video games
  • Inability to bond with classmates in schools or parents at home due to gaming
  • Neglecting household responsibilities due to preoccupation with gaming
  • Continued playing for long hours to feel good
  • Resort to gaming to tackle bad mood or fallout with peers

Is Gaming Addiction Real?

Most psychologists agree that gaming addiction is real but are still looking for queues to pinpoint the addictive nature and quality of video gaming habits. WebMD defines video game addiction as real and classifies it as a kind of impulse control disorder. 

New York Post mentions that recent research shows that video games and screen time affects the brain’s prefrontal cortex — which controls executive functioning, including impulse control — in the same way that cocaine does.Though not everyone has a problem with gaming, mental health specialists fear the need for gaming de-addiction in the future, if not controlled now. 

For example, the introduction of the much infamous game PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds known as ‘PUBG’ in mobiles in 2017 saw the rise of many youngsters remaining hooked to their electronic devices for long hours. Nearly an hour after the game has been banned in India, this game continues to garner support among gaming lovers. 

Psychiatrists realised the impact of gaming addiction in India as news of the death of a 20-year-old boy due to nerve damage from non-stop playing for 45 days came to the fore. The introduction of games like Fortnite and Apex Legends kept the players glued to their mobile phones as they gradually shifted from a powerfully addictive game like PUBG.

Who is at Risk of Game Addiction?    

Teens do not face a problem while playing video games. It is only when they play for extended hours that they start alarming signs of anxiety as young adults. Since teens go through hormonal changes and a phase of turbulence in their quest for self-identity, they are more likely to retreat to their gaming habits, thus, triggering debilitating mental health conditions. It has also been found that children and adolescents who feel alienated, alone or are from broken homes/families in conflict are more likely to depend on video games for escapists happiness.  

People already dependent on drugs or alcohol are more likely to get hooked to internet gaming activities. Those suffering from relationship difficulties resort to an online game to fulfill their need for new relationships and associations through chat boardrooms and internet gaming boards.

Some studies have also hinted at the possibility of video gaming addicts suffering from depression or showing signs of deteriorating mental health conditions. Researches focusing on the ties between depression and video game addiction have shown a disturbing association between the two.

Why Should You Opt for Video Game Addiction Treatment?

Video game addiction can manifest itself in myriad ways. These may include physiological symptoms like pain in the wrist, neck, and elbows due to continued gaming. Some video game addicts have also complained of skin blisters and calluses on hands and fingers. Other side-effects of video gaming include sleep disorders or diet-related health issues. Prolonged addiction may result in obesity by sitting for long hours and an increased possibility of blood clots.  It may also lead to irritability, conflicts in relationships, decreased performance/ absenteeism in school/work. 

Doctors treating their patients at gaming de-addiction centres advise their patients to undergo therapy or the famous 12-step programme to solve addiction problems. There is a clear link between internet gaming addiction and depression. This explains why many psychiatrists prescribe antidepressants to their patients seeking video game addiction treatment.

Most mental health specialists, fearing the potential side-effects of antidepressants, recommend therapies educating patients about the need and importance of self-control and the damaging effect of game addiction on their minds.

Get Help Today

Recovery from any kind of addiction or dependence is not easy. Recognising that the problem exists is the first step to getting the necessary treatment. If you or your loved ones have been showing signs of game addiction but are unable to get rid of them, it is time to seek professional help from a reputed game addiction rehabilitation center

Cadabams has long been into the treatment of people suffering from any kind of addiction and co-occurring mental health problems and is one of the best video game addiction treatment centers near you. At Cadabams, we ensure that you get the treatment you need and deserve.

Our team of psychiatrists is an expert in psychosocial rehabilitation, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), interpersonal and social rhythm therapy (IPSRT), and family-focused therapy that has proven to be highly effective in treating gaming addiction. Our multispecialty team of psychiatrists, psychologists, counsellors, physicians work round the clock and are with you every step of the way. We offer world-class evidence-based treatment that is fit for all stages and all types of addiction.

Cadabams is widely trusted by various healthcare experts to help addiction relief with care and love. It is a comfortable facility where individuals are treated with attention, love, care, and concern. They offer an exclusive range of solutions and treatments based on the condition and issues faced by an individual.

Our treatment center is open to all individuals who are unable to tackle their emotional stress, thus, triggering mental health side-effects. For more information, you may get in touch with the staff by calling at +91961119494.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • Does video gaming cause addiction?

Video games do not always cause addiction. If the player uses the games as unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with stress and discomfort, it may occur.  Video games are designed in a way that brings forth the competitive urge in players and their deliberation to win the game.

This triggers the release of dopamine in the brain in the same way as addictive drugs. Mental health specialists attribute this factor to the addictive stimulus felt while playing video games, thus, highlighting that dependence on video games or addiction to them is possible.

  • Should there be a limit to the number of gaming hours to prevent addiction?

Psychologists recommend not more than nine hours per week must be devoted to any video game. Most even advise that children aged 7-11 years old must not be allowed for more than an hour on weekdays and two hours during the weekends. Any added hours dedicated to gaming can have both physiological and psychological effects, thus, affecting both their bodies and minds.

  • Can gaming cause depression or trigger potential mental illnesses?

Gaming may not be the immediate cause of depression, but it can surely hamper the working of the  mind. People suffering from depression can feel more depressed and emotionally unstable after playing video games for long hours. Research studies highlight that those who are addicted to gaming are twice as likely to be depressed and feel less motivated than others owing to exhaustion in dopamine levels and suppressed emotions.

Children who play video games without control have an increased likelihood of developing symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Though no direct evidence correlating gaming with ADHD has been found, psychiatrists warn against the possibility of children being prone to emotional disorders when susceptible to long hours of gaming.

  • How can one get rid of gaming addiction?

Unlike substance abuse disorders that necessitate immediate professional help, you can get rid of your gaming addiction by limiting the number of hours you spend playing video games. For both children and adults who feel the compulsive need to play online and wish to get rid of it, the following tips can help:

  • Set limits to playing video games
  • Stick to the pre-decided number of hours of playing on the internet
  • Stay clear of mobile phones and electronic devices while working to resist the urge to play
  • Include physical activities like taking a walk outside or daily exercise instead of playing video games 

Disclaimer – We strive to treat our patients with dignity and the utmost sensitivity. We understand that addiction is a disease and that it is not a sign of weakness. The terms addict or gaming addiction are used not in a derogatory fashion but to remain relevant to user search trends. Words like addict, junkie, etc should be avoided as they place the blame on the individual. Individuals/person/people having/with alcohol use disorder or alcohol dependence syndrome should be used. In case you or a loved one are struggling with alcohol abuse and share a unique viewpoint on how we can improve this content for our readers, please reach out to us on info@cadabams.org