Video Games Can be Fun, But a Gaming Addiction Can Be Dangerous.
For many, video games are a simple escape from the real world and a way to release some stress. However, gaming addiction is now popularly believed to be a serious condition, though not recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Video games addiction can affect teens and adults, and the consequences can be terrifying.
What is a gaming addiction? Gaming addiction is when video games seriously negatively the person’s life and relationships and go beyond simple fun. Many who experience this are now seeking gaming addiction help, though for many, especially parents of teenagers who might be playing video games too much, gaming addiction symptoms can be hard to spot.
Video Games Addictions in the News
As it becomes more widespread, video games addictions have been popping up in the news. One Ohio teen was even hospitalized in August 2012 for playing video games too long. Tyler Rigsby was playing a marathon of “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3” for at least four days. He only left his room for snacks, the bathroom and a quick shower. He collapsed and was taken to the hospital for severe dehydration.
It had a happy ending, as he was fine after treatment and was so shaken up that he put up no protest to his mom taking away his Xbox. Not every computer game addiction ends well, though. In February 2011, one Chinese gamer had a three-day gaming session and died after it, reportedly having barely slept or ate.
Warning Signs of Gaming Addiction
1. Disruption in Professional Life. Doing worse in school, skipping school or losing a job to play video games is a sign that the person should seek gaming addiction treatment. A person who has their game playing in check should be able to maintain the other aspects of their life.
2. Irregular Day Pattern. Many gamers will stay up all night and sleep all day. This results in an abnormal pattern and usually not getting enough good sleep.
3. Withdrawal. In these sense, video games addiction is somewhat similar to a drug addiction. Even gaming addicts can have withdrawals. They may become anxious and irritable when not playing games or after having not played video games for some time.
4. The Problem Getting Worse. Like many addictions, it may get worse before it gets better. If the gamer has to play for longer and longer amounts of time to get their fix or if they never seem satisfied with the amount of time they spend playing, they might want to seek gaming addiction help.
5. Craving. Another one of the gaming addiction symptoms is constantly thinking about playing when out in the real world. A gaming addict may talk about video games excessively without noticing.
6. Physical Symptoms. Simple physical differences can be telltale warning signs of gaming addiction. Watch out for dry eyes from staring at a screen for too long, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome from holding the controller and not eating properly.
Many adults and teenagers can play video games without it severely affecting their lives. However, when control is lost is when you should start taking notice.