Video game provides a window to another world, a world where the person playing the game holds all the power, deciding the fate of all the virtual lives. Contrast this with the real world where stress, fatigue, failure, bullying, discord, and a host of other negativities must be dealt with, and you will understand why video games are so addictive. No wonder, with stress and competition galore teens are especially susceptible to this addiction. However, while playing a game or two can be a good stress buster for many, it is only when a person becomes emotionally attached to the video game that he or she starts becoming an addict. The most telltale signs are withdrawal from friends and family, neglecting studies and foods, and a tendency to stay a loner. The seriousness of video game addiction can be gauged from the fact that its symptoms are very much similar to those of other addictions like drugs and alcohol. Video game addiction is more severe as the younger group is the most addicted. It provides a comfort zone that is very hard to shake off. When teens fall to this addiction they miss an essential part of growing up. This is very hard to replace when they come out of their addiction later, like the skill to make friends or interacting with people. The sooner this addiction is got rid of the better. To know more, read below for the symptoms, side effects, and treatment of video game addiction.
Symptoms, Side Effects And Treatment Of Video Game Addiction
- Since, video game is mostly associated with children most adult are likely to lie about amount of time spent on playing video games.
- Adults with video game addiction also experience intense guilt. The pleasure that they experience will also seem uncontrollable.
- Spending more and more time playing video games even when there is no added pleasure is also a notable symptom.
- A person becomes reclusive. The addiction makes the adult withdraw from family, relatives, and friends. This results in the disruption of the family and work life.
- Withdrawal symptoms like anger, depression, anxiety, mood swings, and restlessness result when not gaming.
- They might spend considerable amount of money on game related products.
- Obsessive thinking of gaming even when doing other things is yet another symptom.
- Teens addicted to video gaming become increasingly preoccupied with the game when not gaming. They are more likely to get distracted or disinterested in any other thing other than gaming.
- They tend to lie or give some other excuse for playing video games.
- They don’t have any control over the amount of time spent on gaming. Little by little, they go on increasing the time limit. They lose their sense of time once they start gaming.
- Their studies suffer and they also grow distant from family and friends. In severe cases, they may also neglect their personal hygiene.
- They might use gaming to reduce stress or combat negative emotions.
- Teens also become very defensive when confronted with their gaming habit. They also remain unconcerned about neglecting family and friends.
- A sense of guilt develops, which is a very prominent symptom.
- It can lead to carpal tunnel syndrome. In this the carpal tunnel, which is situated in the wrist becomes swollen due to excessive use of the video game controller.
- It can also lead to migraine because of the intense concentration and strain on the eyes.
- The normal sleep pattern gets disturbed. This occurs because of over stimulation of the brain. Obsessive thinking of gaming can lead to insomnia.
- It can cause severe backache because of staying seated for a considerable length of time. Lack of movement can also cause soreness and stiffness.
- Interaction with the real world suffers. They choose their virtual world rather than hanging with friends and family.
- Video game addiction should be treated like any other addiction. This is because most video game addicts become so to cope with stress and other problems in life. Unlike the real world, in gaming, the video game addicts are in charge and so it becomes a very appealing choice.
- Family support is a must. Simply getting rid of the video game won’t help. The person must be taught how to cope without the console. Teenagers must be taught the alternative ways to spend time.
- Get the gamer out of the normal environment so that he or she experiences reality.
- Therapy is another viable option where the addict is made aware of the problem and solutions sought on how to get rid of the problem.
- Take teens out in nature camps and enroll them in sports clubs so that they enjoy the benefits of physical activity.