Most people think that playing video games is relatively harmless, but the truth is, when a line is crossed and simple play becomes an uncontrollable obsession, you may be dealing with addiction. People of all ages can fall into the trap of not being able to resist just one more life in their favorite game.
Children are especially susceptible to addiction to video games. A child’s self-control instincts have not yet fully developed, so it is up to parents to monitor how much game time their children are exposed to. Adults, on the other hand, need to be accountable for their own actions.
Whether you enjoy games from Rainbow Riches or playing online multiplayer fantasy games, you can easily become addicted and experience negative consequences in your life. Let’s take a look at a few signs that you might be addicted to gaming.
Many people seek out entertainment to give them a break from their real problems. While this is not unusual, gamers who feel the need to play online to get a sense of calm and deal with their anxiety may have become too dependent on their gaming time. Self-reflection is necessary to find out if you are using your gaming as a crutch to avoid your issues.
Unable to Quit
Gamers that find it nearly impossible to walk away from their console may be experiencing addictive behavior. If you find that you are gaming for hours at a time and find it difficult to keep your promises to stop, you could have a problem. Suppose you have made commitments to yourself and others about curbing your gaming activity and haven’t been able to follow through. In that case, it’s a sign that your gaming has become a habitual behavior.
If you are lying to others about how much you play, it is a clear sign that you are gaming too much. When you lie about your gaming activity, it is because you have feelings of shame about your behavior. Shame indicates that you know what you are doing is wrong, but you can’t quit. If you catch yourself lying or even underexaggerating how much time you have been gaming, you may need to take a break.
If you would rather buy more lives or make another online purchase than worry about your rent payments, it’s a huge warning sign that you could have a gaming problem. When you start putting more money towards your gaming habit than into your regular bills and other financial responsibilities, it means that your priorities are way out of order. Take a look at your spending for the past couple of months if you feel like you may be spending out of control.
If you are always thinking about gaming, working out strategy in your head, and looking forward to getting home so you can play, you have become unhealthily preoccupied with your gaming habit. Overwhelming thoughts that all center around gaming and are starting to block out other factors in your life are common for gaming addicts.
Lack of Productivity
If other areas of your life begin to suffer, like your schoolwork or your productivity at work, your gaming habit may be responsible. Talk to your coworkers or friends about whether they see any changes in your behavior and make the necessary adjustments.
Gamers that have an addiction often find it difficult to step away from their screens for even a few minutes. Regular activities like self-care routines start to get ignored. Showering, shaving, and brushing teeth start to take a backseat to the chance to play video games.
The damage that gaming causes can go beyond the psychological and financial. It can result in physical suffering. Chronic headaches, insomnia, malnutrition or obesity, vision problems, and back and neck pain can all happen to those who spend too much time gaming.
Loss of Connection
As a gaming addict sinks deeper into their virtual world, many of their real relationships start to suffer. Romantic partners are the most affected by a gaming obsession. Marriages and partnerships are more likely to fail when a gaming addiction is involved. Gamers prefer to spend all of their free time playing, so it is difficult to maintain relationships with family and friends.
When their gaming time is challenged, you may see aggressive behavior from a gamer who has crossed the line into addiction. Confrontation, moodiness, and anger are typical when anyone tries to separate a gaming addict from their games. Signs of aggression may exist when the player experiences a loss in the game. Physical violence, profanity, and yelling are common extreme emotional reactions for gaming addicts. There are many levels of aggression in gamers, all of which should be cause for concern.
One of the most common physical consequences that come from gaming too much is the development of Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. When your hands, fingers, and wrists are constantly making quick small movements, it puts an immense strain on your muscles, ligaments, and tendons in your hands. This condition can be extremely painful and may require medical treatment.
Carpal Tunnel is no joke, and it can stay with you for a lifetime. It could interfere with your ability to work, complete simple tasks and could definitely put an end to your gaming activities. You will end up having to wear braces on your wrists and hands to be able to complete even the simplest tasks and may have to take medications for the rest of your life.
Gaming can be a fun and exciting way to spend your leisure time. It’s important to know your limits. If you start to see any of these signs on your own or someone else’s behavior, it could mean that there is an addiction problem. If you are losing contact with friends, not getting enough sleep, spending too much money, or feel like you can’t quit on your own, it may be time to get some help. Talk to your support network or an online gaming addiction hotline to find a way back to your normal life.