While it is typically far clearer when someone has a substance abuse issue, gaming addiction is not always so clear. However, it should be noted, that a gaming addiction can ruin a life just as quickly as a drug addiction. The game becomes the drug of choice for users.
Young addicts are stripped of their social abilities, and older users usually suffer from a deterioration of surrounding relationships and employment issues. Here are a few signs and symptoms of a gaming addiction, along with a few helpful hints as to how to handle an already developed addiction.
What everyone should know
Just because it is an addiction to gaming, does not mean that this type of addiction can not end with deadly consequences. Young and old have suffered catastrophic health effects. The sedentary lifestyle of gaming can lead to blood clots in the legs and even bad heart health.
The psychosocial side of gaming should also be considered. Young addicts tend to suffer socially due to the reclusivity of gaming. Even though most players have friends online that play the same games, the lifestyle does not account for face to face socialization and nonverbal communication.
Finding proper treatment
Finding treatment for a gaming addiction is not as cryptic of an idea as it may seem. A large percentage of treatment centers for alcohol and drugs also provide treatment for many other addictive behaviors. The world of mental health is much more expansive than to treat for drug and alcohol addiction solely.
Signs and symptoms
It is important to hold knowledge concerning the common signs and symptoms of a gaming addiction. Here are a few of the most visible behaviors in which to be aware.
- Turns to games when life gets hard.
- Playing time continually increases.
- Personal hygiene begins to suffer.
- Work or school takes a back seat to gaming.
- Lying to cover up excessive gaming patterns.
- Gets angry when they cannot play.
Key concerns for youth
The primary concern for young people in the throes of a gaming addiction is proper social development. Virtual reality is just what the name suggests. It is not real, and will not adequately prepare youth for real life situations.
Excessive gaming can also cause young people to become more angry and aggressive. When someone is consistently filling their life with combat and death, it will undoubtedly begin to affect his or her overall disposition.
Key concerns for adults
The key concern for adults is the extremely sedentary lifestyle that typically follows gamers. The body is not made to sit for hours at a time. Things will go wrong. Blood clots and heart attacks are most common. Gaming also typically comes hand-in-hand with snacking. Type 2 Diabetes is a real risk when that many empty calories and sugar are eaten regularly.