9 worrying symptoms of game addiction!

 game addiction

Do you have the feeling that you’ve lost control of yourself or know someone who is running downhill due to video game addiction? If so, perhaps it is necessary to know that gaming disorder was officially classified by the World Health Organization in 2018 as a real disease if it causes a person to lose control of himself due to excessive play of games.

The organization has identified several manifestations before a person is diagnosed with a play-induced disorder due to gaming:

  • Give an increasing priority to play and neglect other activities and interests in your life
  • Inability to stop playing despite adverse repercussions
  • Games cause significant disability in your personal, family, social, educational, professional or other life Persistence of previous symptoms for a period of at least 12 months.

Addiction to electronic games is similar to the addiction to compulsive gambling where a person becomes compulsively motivated to win the game which affects his life. Although video games are not new and date back to the seventies, video games were not as easy and accessible around the clock as they are today through mobile gaming consoles, personal computers or smartphones.

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Add to the above that electronic games are becoming more qualitative and detailed, with rich alternative worlds, multiple characters, complex stories and super-high-quality graphics. All this may make introverted children or teenagers tend to avoid interacting with their “real” peers by engaging with other players online, under the guise of characters with amazing talents and powers.

Do electronic games have benefits?

Not all researchers agree that electronic games are harmful or addictive activity. Many people, including some parents, believe that electronic games expand imagination, give children the opportunity to work collaboratively, and sharpen cognitive skills.

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This team believes that electronic games can be a valuable tool for education and character development, allowing children to simulate the roles of powerful heroes. In fact, video games have both positive and negative characteristics, and the effect of playing games often depends on the player’s attitudes towards games and life in general.

On the other hand, there are those who believe that electronic video games are completely negative, and that they promote violent behavior, discrimination on the basis of sex, and social isolation among young people. When children and young people spend most of their time playing electronic games at the expense of homework, physical exercises, family events, or social activities, the benefits of games seem less certain.

Is game addiction a real addiction?

There is some controversy over whether video games are an addiction similar to gambling, drug use, or alcoholism. Psychologists state that the comparison between electronic games and gambling is flawed, because there are no financial bets or material losses involved in video games.

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Winning a video game requires cognitive skills and sharp reactions, while winning a gamble is a matter of luck. Parenting science suggests that immersion in electronic games may not be due to an addictive response, but is attributed to a psychological phenomenon called “flow.” Flow occurs when individuals become so immersed in an activity that they lose track of time.

Any engaging activity—even work or school projects—can trigger a sense of flow once a person is preoccupied with the process.

While there is not necessarily anything wrong with indulging in an engaging educational game, this process can turn into coercion if the user is unable to stop, and if it takes time away from other important activities or relationships.

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Perhaps video game addiction can be considered a kind of impulse control disorder. Some researchers suggest that the process of playing and winning these games may trigger the release of dopamine, a chemical in the brain that raises mood and provides a rush of energy. Dopamine is the same neurotransmitter that is involved in other addiction activities, such as alcohol or drug abuse.

Symptoms of game addiction

The concept of game addiction as an addictive disorder is not currently recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the ultimate guide to mental illness. despite the obsessive preoccupation with games at the expense of real-life activities or commitments, shares some characteristics of addictive behavior.

But how can a parent know when games stop being simple entertainment and become addictive?

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Here are some of the main warning signs to watch:

  1. Thinking about games all the time or most of it
  2. Feeling bad, anxious or irritated and angry when you are deprived of play.
  3. Decreased performance at school, work or household chores due to preoccupation with games
  4. Neglecting hobbies or other friendships and not wanting to do other things you used to like
  5. Lying to those close to you about the amount of time you spend playing video games
  6. Neglecting your living space or personal hygiene
  7. Increasing desire to play more intensely in order to have the same level of fun
  8. The appearance of physical or psychological withdrawal symptoms such as loss of appetite, insomnia or anger and emotional outbursts if the game is taken away
  9. Using electronic games as a way to escape stressful situations or as a way to relieve mood and bad feelings

It’s a mistake to consider that everyone who plays a lot or has enthusiasm for games has a problem, but one thing agreed upon is that the percentage of those who meet the criteria for addiction to video games is small. It is estimated that it is probably between 1% and 9% of all players, whether adults or children, and is more common among males versus females.

It can be helpful to ask yourself questions:

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  • Are electronic games hindering the practice of other things of importance in your life, such as your relationships, your job, or your study?
  • Do you feel like you’ve crossed the line between being a games lover and the compulsive feeling of wanting to play?
  • Are games a way to avoid a deeper problem like depression?

There’s usually a hard time assessing yourself, but if those around you and those close to you tell you it’s too much, it might be time to think about reducing the amount of time you play or stopping for a while.

Parents can evaluate a child by looking at how well he or she is performing in school or with peers. And we must not forget that children and adolescents are not the only ones exposed to addiction to electronic games. Adults may also play video games for hours and neglect more important activities such as work, hobbies, or spending time with spouses or children.

If an adult fails to control the amount of time spent on video games, or when their jobs or relationships begin to be negatively affected by an addiction to electronic games, they may have crossed the line between entertainment and addiction.

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Health risks and concerns Compulsive video games can have negative effects on the developing mind or body. Adult players may also suffer from the effects of the hours they spend sitting on the couch or at the computer desk.

Here are some of the main concerns for younger players:

1. Passive lifestyle: The hours spent sitting at a computer or in front of a device can affect a young person’s body. The lack of physical exercise involved in video games leads to public health concerns about being overweight, sitting harmfully, and increasing the risk of type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents in America.

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2. Lack of social participation: Although video games may involve engaging with others in interactive environments remotely, they don’t necessarily prepare children for the realities of socializing with their peers. Learning how to interact with others in a realistic environment is an important social skill that may be neglected by individuals who spend a lot of time playing.

3. Problems with concentration and attention: There is some concern that the fast movements and quick action of video games promote loss of concentration in players. Children who spend a lot of time playing video games may become less interested in reading books, for example, which requires more focused and long attention.

4. Avoid developmental tasks: Adolescence is a time of self-discovery and personal development. In order to become mature adults who can face life’s challenges, teens must learn how to cope with painful emotions and embarrassing social experiences. When used appropriately, role-playing fictional video games can help children learn and apply valuable personality traits that may help them in their interactions with others. But when electronic games are used as an escape mechanism, they allow children to avoid developmental challenges of growth.

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5. Increased aggression or violence: Children and teens who devote a lot of time to playing video games that focus on fighting, fighting or violence may show more aggressive signs than those who don’t play these games. Parents should be familiar with the content of video games, which are subject to a classification system similar to that applied to movies. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) publishes guidelines and ratings for popular games based on the player’s age, as well as educational resources for parents and parental game controls.

6. Epileptic seizures and recurrent stress injuries: The British Medical Journal (BMJ) has published an article about the dangers of video games for players with epilepsy or other seizure disorders. The graphics, lights, and flashing colors of video game screens may lead to shift activity in some players. There is also evidence that compulsive game play may lead to repetitive stress injuries to the wrists or hands. Methods of treatment of game addiction.

Video games have had a tremendous impact – both positive and negative – on cultural attitudes, psychological development and lifestyle choices for both children and adults.

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While these games can be considered a danger to the physical or emotional health of players, they have also been promoted as effective educational tools and have even been used for physical or cognitive rehabilitation in clinical settings.

However, for individuals who have become stuck in a cycle of force majeure, video games can become destructive. The growing popularity of video games has created a new awareness of the problem of compulsive games, which in turn has led to the development of therapeutic programs for this addictive process.

Game addiction rehab

Electronic games addiction rehabs focus on behavioral therapies, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which guides a person away from obsessive thinking patterns and obsessive habits of addiction.

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Group therapy is a good source of motivation and moral support, especially for individuals who have lost connections with friends or peers because of their addiction to gaming. Family can help educate loved ones about the disorder and create a more stable home environment.

Those diagnosed with common depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or other psychiatric conditions may need drug treatment with antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications. If drug use is a factor, a person will need medical detox followed by specialized treatment for drug or alcohol abuse.

Depending on the severity of the addictive behavior and the frequency of occurrence of other medical or psychological conditions, addiction to electronic games can be treated at home or through specialized addiction rehab centers.

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Game addiction treatment facilities like rehab centers may provide 24-hour supervision in a supportive and structured environment, and may be useful to individuals who have not been able to control their use of video games.

Outpatient rehab, which includes intensive programs and partial hospitalization programs (PHPs), provides more flexibility for individuals who cannot enroll in inpatient rehab due to personal responsibilities or for people who are highly motivated to recover from addictive behavior.

Prevention of game addiction

To keep the amount of time spent playing under control, try these tips for adults and children alike:

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  1. Set time limits for playing and stick to them.
  2. Keep phones and other gadgets outside the bedroom so you don’t play at night.
  3. Do other activities every day, including exercise.

Internet addiction?

Despite the call to classify Internet addiction as a disease, in fact Internet addiction and social media addiction do not constitute a recognized medical condition yet as there are not enough studies.

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has listed online gaming disorder (or video game addiction) as “a condition that requires further study.”

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