For most people, video games are a harmless diversion. They play for an hour to two when they don’t have anything else to do or to relax at the end of the day. As with anything though, spending too much time playing video games can negatively affect your life.
There are some reliable signs that video games have become an addiction. You may find yourself thinking about playing when you should be concentrating on other things. Sometimes it’s normal to think about other things while you’re bored, but if you always think about playing video games, you might have a problem. Another sign is that you find yourself playing more and more. You may often play video games at the expense of more important activities like school or work. You may try to quit and find you are unable, or that you experience restlessness, anxiety, or other withdrawal symptoms. Another common sign is that you play video games to avoid facing stress, anxiety, or depression.
While substance abuse may lead to acute problems, such as arguments, legal problems, failing health, and overdose, the main problem of video game addiction is that it pushes out everything else. People have died from video game addiction because they did nothing but play video games and drink energy drinks for several days straight. They didn’t eat or sleep. While this level of self-neglect is rare, it doesn’t take long for video games to eat into more productive pursuits. Grades and relationships may suffer relatively quickly because they both require your time. You may start to sacrifice exercise, nutrition, sleep, and hygiene.
Perhaps the greatest danger of video game addiction is that it becomes a way to avoid problems. If you react to every challenge and setback by picking up a controller and escaping into a world where you’re the hero, you are not likely to do the hard work of improving your real life. You may not learn important skills like resolving conflict or managing stress. In the long run, your problems only become worse.
Video games are designed to be addictive. No one would play them if they weren’t fun, with just the right amount of challenge. Some games are only designed to be addictive. They’re basically slot machines with a more elaborate interface. It’s important to make smart decisions about what games you play and how much time you spend playing them. If you think you spend too much time playing, or maybe your child spends too much time playing, try stopping. If quitting is hard, consider therapy or even treatment.
Smarmore Castle Private Clinic in County Louth, near Dublin was founded in 1988 as a residential rehabilitation hospital treating people suffering from drug and alcohol purposes. Smarmore Castle believes in helping patients lead a life of abstinence through 12 Step programmes, detox and medical treatment, psychotherapy, and complementary therapies. For more information, please call 041-214-5111. For those who live out of the country, the international number is 00353-41-214-5111.