Can hobbies go from activities we enjoy engaging in to pass the time to activities we are addicted to? How do we differentiate between life’s passions and activities that can be detrimental to our physical and mental wellness? Go through this article as it delves into the depths of video games to answer the old-age question: Are video games addictive?
The evolution of video games dates back to over five decades ago. Extensive studies on the hobby have brought forth shocking revelations about the ins and outs of the effects of the habit. These studies have also stirred debates about addiction being used to explain the obsession with playing these games. How factual is this information?
According to a report by the World Health Organization, gaming disorder was added to the International Classification of Diseases. However, the decision attracted conflicting opinions, which insisted that gambling is the only possible addiction. So, is gaming addiction a far-fetched theory?
Problems Related to Video Gaming
According to research, the following signs and symptoms distinguish someone who suffers from an obsession related to video gaming. Therefore, if you struggle to control your urge to play these games, it is prudent to watch out for these signs:
- Obsessing about playing video games.
- Feeling unfulfilled when you do not have the chance to play games.
- Your lack of control over how much you can play.
- Trouble concentrating on activities that require you to pay attention.
- Playing video games as an escape from being present and engaging in day-to-day activities.
- Using video games as an escape to deal with negative emotions.
- Losing interest in engaging in activities that used to spark joy in you.
- Trouble controlling how much time you spend playing.
While you might be tempted to jump to conclusions about the situation, experts warn against self-diagnosis and labeling people without using the correct terms to describe this habit. For instance, they encourage anyone who exhibits these signs and symptoms to visit a medical facility for help with the condition.
Knowing when to see a specialist is crucial if you exhibit more than three of the signs and symptoms highlighted above. However, before making the bold step, it is vital to ask yourself the following questions:
- Does video gaming make me compromise my ability to attend to my daily essential activities and the people in my life?
- Do I love playing video games, or do I use the habit to deal with underlying issues that need to be addressed?
- Have the people around me expressed concern over how much time I spend playing video games?
- Does my habit make me grow distant from the people around me?
- How does not playing video games make me feel?
If you are a guardian or parent with kids who also get overconsumed by the habit, it is crucial to take action before it is too late. Track the amount of time they spend playing video games.
If you notice their performance in school dipping or their ability to concentrate for long hours is a cause for alarm, this is your cue to take action. Their love for video games might slowly be creeping into more essential aspects of their lives.
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While this might be a daunting fact to reconcile, it is vital to strike while it is still hot. For instance, limit the time spent playing games. You could also encourage them to read more and talk about the dangers of getting addicted to the habit.
When introducing this conversation, ensure to do so in a palatable tone, using the correct vocabulary. You do not want to make them feel alienated and uncomfortable.
Since the obsession with playing video games has been linked to psychological concerns, the most appropriate practitioner to seek help from is a medical doctor in the same field. If you think your little one is getting overconsumed by the habit, consider introducing them to a child psychologist or a therapist.
According to studies, gaming addiction is easier to control during the early stages. For instance, practitioners recommend cognitive behavioral therapy that rewires the victim’s brain by teaching them how to replace specific thoughts with others. In this case, they are taught how to occupy their minds with thoughts other than gaming.
Parents and caregivers also go through therapy sessions to ensure they have the tools to handle their young ones. These tools include limiting screen time and helping their children engage in more productive activities besides gaming.
According to another study, engaging parents in the process increases the chance of yielding better results. As a parent, you could also support children by facilitating their access to a college paper writing service online.
Like any other form of addiction, you could prevent your young ones from spiraling into an obsession with playing video games by:
- Limiting how much time your ones spend playing video games.
- Keeping these gaming gadgets out of their reach unless it is within the time you stipulated for them to play.
- Keeping these gaming gadgets away from bedrooms
- Encouraging them to engage in productive activities that foster their physical and mental well-being, like spending time in nature.
- Encouraging them to explore other hobbies that do not entail using gadgets.
- Encouraging them to engage more in outdoor activities which positively impact their physical and mental well-being.
- Exposing them to information about addiction and its dangers.
- Encouraging them to explore other mentally intriguing games like board games.
Even though the debate about video games being addictive is infinite, it is essential to note that too much of something can be poisonous. You do not want to get caught by a bug that controls your life.
As a parent, it is also advisable to foster discipline by enlightening your little one about the risk of getting addicted to video games. Even though some of the remedies and suggestions might sound mean, it is essential to let them know that you mean well and protect their interests by limiting their access to video games. Even though the debate about gaming being addictive sounds medically inconclusive, take precautions to nip bad habits in the bud and foster healthy ones.