Do I Like Video Games or Am I Addicted?
Video games often use compelling storylines, implied risk, violent images, music, flashing lights and even sexually explicit imagery to create immersive entertaining experiences. Modern games combine the perceived risk of gambling, the fear of virtual death, the thrill of survival and the emotional grip of a good movie to pull the gamer in. Hardcore gamers often relate stories of having played a game for hours on end with no concept of time. These games can be extremely entertaining, but as with so many aspects of our modern culture they can also be addictive to certain people.
Identifying Video Game Addiction
The line between enjoyment of gaming and addiction can be hard to distinguish, but if any of the following symptoms describe your experience, reconsider your relationship with video games:
- Gaming occupies your thoughts when not playing
- Loss of interest in previously important people and activities in favor of gaming
- Significant amount of time spent playing even if work, school or relationships are suffering
- Symptoms of depression or anxiety when unable to play
Gaming addiction has cost people their jobs, their education, their important relationships and their physical health. If you have ever told yourself you were going to quit gaming or cut back significantly but found that you just have to play, you may be addicted.
Risks of Untreated Video Game Addiction
If left untreated, gaming addiction can have similarly devastating effects as sex addiction, compulsive lying, shoplifting, gambling or other behavioral addictions. Serious carpal-tunnel disease or other repetitive stress injuries are part of the physical risk associated with extreme gaming. As with any behavior that gets out of control gaming addiction can lead to embarrassment and depression. Untreated video game addiction will not end on its own, and the consequences will grow.
Get Help for Video Game Addiction
If you are concerned about your or a loved one’s gaming habit, please call our toll-free helpline. We are here any questions about addiction and treatment that you may have. We can connect you with the best recovery resources and treatment options for your specific needs. If you have become addicted, we can help you find the best treatment possible for your long-term health and wellness. Call today.