Five Warning Signs of Video Game Addiction
Any kind of addiction can be a serious issue to overcome. Like other addictions, compulsive gaming can take over one’s life, making it impossible to function without a fix. If not addressed, this addiction can take over a person’s life, making it difficult for them to function.
VIdeo game addictions can be identified by the following:
- Losing time – Obsessive gaming can cause a loss of awareness to your surroundings and the passage of time. Addicts can play for hours on end, only stopping when they are interrupted. This can affect their ability to work or perform daily tasks, and can even interfere with their personal relationships.
- Altered schedule – Video game addiction can seriously disrupt normal routine. In many cases, addicts rearrange their schedules to accommodate more play time. Spending too much time playing video games can alter the sleep cycle, adversely affecting your overall mood and health. Lack of sleep also affects performance while carrying out daily tasks (e.g. at work or school).
- Physical problems – Excessive playing can take a physical toll on addicts, especially on children (e.g. consistent staring at a screen can cause eyestrain and headaches). In some cases, people can cease attention to basic hygiene, as well as to their surroundings. Addiction also goes hand-in-hand with a sedentary lifestyle, which can lead to additional health complications (e.g. weight gain, pain and swelling in joints, etc).
- Obsession – Addictions create obsession in the mind of the addict. In extreme cases, addicts use video games as a coping mechanism. Playing games releases dopamine in the brain, which contributes to the “high” felt while playing. Over time, addicts can find themselves playing for longer periods of time to chase another high.
- Withdrawal – Addicts can suffer withdrawal symptoms when taken away from their games, including irritation, apathy, and depression. Like other addictions, when the source is taken away, it can be difficult to feel satisfied without it. Take the withdrawal symptoms as a sign that gaming is potentially problematic.
Any addiction can be dangerous if left unaddressed. Pay close attention to yourself and your loved ones for the previous signs. Contact a licensed counsellor immediately if you suspect a possible addiction.
At York Region Psychological Services, we provide our clients in Thornhill, Ontario with full psychological counselling services. We’re here to offer guidance to clients in need. Contact us at (416) 602-3230.