What is gaming addiction?
Game addiction is a form of behavioral addiction. Someone who is addicted to gaming tries to escape reality by diving into a virtual world where there is no need to think about real problems. This behavior often arises because they have problems. These can be concrete problems at home or at work, but can also be related to low self-esteem or depression.
When are you addicted to gaming?
Most games use a reward system. This means that the gamer is rewarded for his actions in the game. The chemicals adrenaline, endorphins and dopamine are produced in the brain, which create feelings of pleasure. The brain is stimulated in such a way that the gamer becomes distracted from things that are happening in reality. The negative thoughts are numbed and replaced by virtual reality, because it is more interesting, exciting and challenging for the gamer. In short: the gamer no longer has time to dwell on real-life situations.
A gaming addiction does not only have to do with the number of hours the games are played. How the gaming addict handles appointments can also be a good indicator. If the player makes an agreement about the number of gaming hours but cannot (or cannot) keep to the agreement, then there may be an addiction.
Game addiction symptoms
Symptoms of a gaming addiction often resemble those of a gambling addiction. The similar symptoms between a gambling addiction and gaming addiction are health problems, obsessive thoughts and in the long run it causes damage in relationships, studies and career. Do you recognize several of the characteristics below? Then there may be a game addiction:
- Health issues: you suffer from fatigue, headache, feel lethargic, your eyes are irritated, your legs itch, you have cramped shoulders and / or burning wrists.
- Obsessive thoughts: you are gaming for a large part of the day, this can be in real life as well as in your thoughts.
- Long-term damage to personal relationships, education and career: relationships are neglected and there is no time for activities besides gaming or they are postponed.
Consequences of game addiction
Gaming addiction, like many other addictions, can be very disruptive to the addict himself / herself and his / her environment. For the addict, gaming is paramount. Because the focus is constantly on gaming, it can cause performance at school or work to decrease. But social contact can also be greatly reduced. Game addicts often have a limited social circle and most of their friends are online.
Other consequences of a gaming addiction are that the addict sleeps little and (often) has a seriously disrupted day and night rhythm. There is also no more attention for grooming and the gamer can react quickly irritable: for example, they quickly go out of their way when something or someone disrupts the game and they feel attacked when they are confronted with their behavior.
While gaming, resources are often used to maintain gaming. Gaming addiction is sometimes accompanied by drug addiction. Do you think you, or someone around you, might be addicted to gaming? Take contact on!