Gaming Addiction and Its Harmful Effects
In 2021, almost 1.48 billion gamers were estimated in Asia and a total of 3.24 billion globally. And this gaming zone isn’t a new leaf that’s unfolded in the UK. According to research, 70% of young people admitted that playing online games was much more fun in 2021 than in previous years. Unfortunately, this significant rise in gamers made the gaming industry the biggest reason for disturbing reports of suicides, murders, financial losses, and injuries related to video games.
But what is gaming addiction? How a person gets addicted to it and develops such a constant need to play video games that they don’t realise that it is affecting their physical and mental health? Do people need gaming addiction help? Do rehab for gaming addiction really required? To answer all these questions, we are here with this article that explains gaming addiction and how it negatively impacts people in the long run.
What is Gaming Addiction?
Gaming addiction, internet gaming disorder, or video games addiction can be characterised by an uncontrollable or compulsive need to use video games, despite adverse consequences. Highly popular among teenagers and adults, the video game is a multi-billion-dollar industry, attracting people from all walks of life. While some play video games to release stress and tension after work, children bend towards them for recreational purposes, leaving studies and outdoor play behind.
Also, gaming addiction is still under debate when classifying it as an addiction or mental illness. Many researchers compare it with a behavioural addiction similar to gambling addiction, where players repeatedly play until they win. And once they win, they take it as a challenge for every subsequent game, and the cycle continues. People often seek gaming addiction help through addiction counselling or therapies when this becomes too much.
A few signs of video game addiction which can help you determine if your loved one is suffering from it include:
- Neglecting duties at work, school, or home to play video games
- Not able to cut off playing time despite multiple efforts
- Hiding about gaming patterns and time spent on them
- Playing online games to relieve anxiety, negative feelings, or bad mood
- Continue to play video games despite their adverse effects
- Thinking about video or online games all the time
- Not doing or participating in other activities
- Feeling upset when cannot play
Harmful Effects of Gaming Addiction
One of the first and most prominent effects of video games is the aggressive behaviour that people develop. Though suitable video games played for the right amount of time are good for skill building and a relaxed mind, playing games full of action and war may result in aggressive and violent behaviours. People who play aggressive games tend to be more pessimistic and see trouble in almost everything. For example, if something doesn’t happen the way a person wants, they may feel anxious and aggressive. Increased aggression among children can irritate them, so they respond aggressively to everything their parents or guardians say.
Physical Health Impacts
Most kids and teenagers who stay technologically active may experience poor physical health. Indulging in online video games for unlimited hours damages an individual’s physical health and impairs cognitive function. When gamers sit in the same position for multiple hours, it results in poor body posture, stiff joints, body aches, headaches, muscle loss, neck pain, and, most significantly, obesity. Today half the kids are obese and develop long-term health problems like cholesterol, diabetes, and heart failure because of playing games behind closed doors. Also, they quit playing outdoor games or going for a stroll with friends, which severely impacts their overall physical health.
Other harmful effects of gaming addiction include insomnia or sleep disturbances. Because most online gamers stay up all night or till midnight, they develop poor bedtime habits. As a result, even when they quit playing video games and genuinely try to sleep, they cannot. Moreover, disturbed brain activity is also a prime reason for sleep deprivation. Though the brain should relax while resting or sleeping, it doesn’t. Instead, brain activities are simulated, making it hyperactive, and a person cannot sleep the whole night. Also, people with sleep deprivation never show productive or positive results at school, work, or home due to too much exposure to blue light and radiation from devices.
Overcome Gaming Addiction
Excessive use of video games causes harmful effects because it requires an individual to sit for long hours, be behind closed doors, and disconnect socially. However, some people play video games in moderation and lead successful lives. Like any drug or alcohol, moderate doses of gaming can make all the difference and keep you up for enjoyment rather than addiction.
Also, gaming addiction is most prevalent in kids and teenagers and needs a lot of determination if someone wants to quit. While rehab for gaming addiction provides all the help a person needs, they can start by playing outdoor games, finding alternative hobbies, and surrounding themselves with people who actually care. If you also feel your gaming habit is affecting your life and need gaming addiction help, contact your nearest rehab centre today. Doing so will help you get the track with your life, be it through addiction counselling or group therapies.