Ever since titles like Pong, Tetris, and Super Mario came out, the world of gaming has grown immensely thanks to its widespread popularity, an innate drive to innovate, and hundreds of millions of fans.
With consoles growing even more advanced and competitive settings, size, and prize pools increasing, it’s clear that games are more than just a niche interest. If you or your child are an avid gamer, too, then you’ve probably understood the fact that booting up your PC or console and hopping online means a whole lot more than merely killing time.
However, there’s a problem with this beloved pastime that has become an alarming issue for leading experts and healthcare professionals: the advent of gaming addiction.
What Happens When a Gaming Addiction Springs to Life?
Although gaming makes for a great experience that anyone can enjoy, it can be a fairly addictive activity for those with no self-control.
When one begins to experience the problem in question, they start by dedicating more time than they should to their games—which eventually develops into an addiction that’s difficult to shake off. Contrary to popular belief, however, this experience does not only affect children and teenagers but adults as well, with the condition being more common among the first two.
If you feel like you or your loved one is experiencing a growing addiction to gaming, it’s vital to be aware of the issues that can arise—all of which show that it’s not revealing a minor problem. Here’s what you can expect to take place once someone becomes overly dependent on their PC or console:
Physical Health Problems
For the longest time, the biggest physical issues concerned with gaming have had much to do with external matters concerning the brain.
A study by Kuss et al. in 2012 showed that psychosomatic symptoms consisting of seizures and sleep abnormalities were prevalent among those with a growing addiction to games. Meanwhile, the same kinds of developments were seen in a study by Männikkö et al. in 2015 that outlined increased fatigue and concentration problems as common physical signs.
In recent years, however, cases of gaming addiction have come forth with the presence of injuries among an alarming number of patients and test subjects.
The major physical injuries associated with playing on PCs and consoles stem from overuse or repetitive motions. These issues—when continuously experienced—can result in the development of pain and inflammation—leading to various conditions, such as:
- Stenosing tenosynovitis (also known as “trigger finger”)
- de Quervain’s tenosynovitis (also known as “Gamer’s thumb”)
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Tennis elbow
Mental Health Problems
While the physical health problems associated with gaming addiction are enough to cause alarm, the leading cause of concern is the mental health issues it entails.
Current research shows that the most prominent mental challenge associated with the issue is the link between gaming and psychological harms. Conditions such as depression, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), generalized anxiety disorder, and other psychosomatic symptoms have become especially present in cases of gaming addiction.
Beyond classified mental conditions, cases of addiction to gaming have also been linked to a decline in academic achievement in students—as outlined by a study from Brunborg et al. Coincidentally, research has also shown gaming addiction disorders to be strongly correlated with poorer self-control and discipline, leading to behaviours like aggression and hostility.
So, You’re Dealing With A Case of Gaming Addiction Disorder—What Can You Do?
Generally, a proper psychotherapy regimen can help treat any case of a gaming addiction disorder, which is designed to remove the presence of such issues. Seeking treatment from a professional like Chettiar Counselling & Associates on top of set restrictions, for instance, will allow you or a loved one to overcome such an issue with less struggle.
Gaming, for the most part, can be a terrific pastime to enjoy because of how immersive it can be—but doing too much of it can easily prove to be a problem that will develop into a disorder. By recognizing the signs of the issue in question and taking it upon yourself to act on them and resolve any concerns as quickly as possible, it will be much easier for you to recover.
Are you a resident of the Guelph, Kitchener, Waterloo, or Cambridge areas experiencing communication problems and relationship stress with your partner? Reach out to us for couples counselling today.