Millions of people worldwide suffer from a legitimate mental health disorder called video game addiction.
Gaming disorder is defined by the World Health Organization as "a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online or offline, manifested by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences" (ICD-11).
Despite the fact that billions of people worldwide play video games, just 3-4% of them are thought to have a gaming addiction, according to the World Health Organization. The negative effects the pastime is having on your life make the difference between a healthy, enjoyable gaming interest and an addiction.
The pattern of gaming behaviour must be "normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe." Typically, a gaming addict will have a level of severity resulting in "significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational, or other important areas of functioning."
What Leads to a Game Addiction?
Modern behavioural psychology is used in the design of video games to make them addicting and keep you hooked. Overexposure to this kind of stimulation, which is provided by immersive experiences like playing video games, can alter the structure of your brain 1.
You start to exist in a world where fast pleasure is expected. Games are so absorbing that its simple to lose track of time and play for hours on end without even realising it. You can get away from them and observe quantifiable advancement. They foster a sense of security and control by being social and fostering that environment.
Additionally, game makers use deceptive game design elements like in-app purchases, microtransactions, and loot boxes, which some governments have banned because they constitute a kind of gambling. Game companies are billion-dollar industries, and the more people they can get addicted to their products, the more money they can make. As a result, gaming addiction occurs.
What Indicates a Problem?
When it comes to identifying gaming problem, the American Psychiatric Association has listed nine warning indicators to look out for. Although these can be useful in helping you comprehend the gravity of your personal situation, its crucial to always seek professional counsel.
How to Handle Addiction to Video Games
Whatever challenges youre facing, its crucial to remember that youre not doing it alone. As a result of gaming disorder becoming recognised as a condition, more and more people can now get the assistance they require.
The good news is that those who are battling a gaming disorder can get assistance. Hundreds of free videos, a forum, and an affordable programme are all features of the online peer support group Game Quitters, which is open to both parents and players.
Search our database for a video game addiction therapist if you need expert assistance.
Go through our collection of true-life tales of video game addiction if youre finding it difficult to envisage your life being any different. Via Game Quitters, hundreds of people have changed their life, and you can too.
Even if you dont want to permanently stop playing video games, you might be surprised at how much your life could alter if you do. Dont regret not acting today when you look back a year from now.