GAMING ADDICTION – WHEN AN HOBBY BECOMES A DISEASE

August 28, 2020
Solace Asia

As of 2019 the global video game market is estimated to be worth $ 152 billion. With the boom of the digital gaming industry in the last two decades or so, video games have entered almost every household around the world. According to a report by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA) of the United States, more than 150 million Americans play video games regularly, at least three hours per week.

Known to be highly captivating and fully immersive games, in recent years we have heard mental health professionals discussing about “gaming disorder”, raising the question about whether or not people can become addicted to it. To put the case to rest, as of 2019 the World Health Organization has recognized “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition, adding the disorder to the International Classification of Diseases.  

Gaming disorder is defined as pattern of gaming behavior characterized by impaired control over gaming,increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences such as impairments in family relationships, social lives, work duties or other areas of one’s life. In other words, playing a lot of video games does not makes one an addict, the difference between a healthy fun gaming hobby and an addiction is the negative impact the activity has in someone’s life.

A high amount of dopamine is often released by the brain when playing a video game and the overexposure to this level of stimulation can cause structural changes to one’s brain.

Some of the warning signs to be on the lookout for, to determine or not someone’s is suffering from gaming addiction are:

* Loss of Interests in Others Hobbies: When hobbies that were usually enjoyed regularly becomes secondary.

* Increased Concern About Gaming: When someone’s become worried or anxious about his/her previous or next gaming activity.  

* Dominant Hobby: When gaming becomes the dominant activity in one’s daily life.

* Withdrawals Symptoms: When symptoms such as irritability, sadness, or anxiety start to emerge when gaming is taken away.

* Excessive Use: When the individual continues to play despite a negative impact in his/her life.

* Sleep Deprivation: When the individual spends too many hours gaming into the night.  

 

So, we now know for certain that gaming disorder it’s a real, officially recognized disease afflicting members of our communities and society.  The good news is that individuals can now seek the help they need from mental health and addiction professionals.

Providing a game-free environment to heal, at Solace gaming addiction is treated as a disease by a team of expert addiction clinicians, where treatment is through intensive therapy and the implementation of behavioral modification techniques for recovery.

Should you or your loved one be suffering from gaming addiction contact us to find out how we can be of support at mail@solaceasia.org or call us at +60128854686 / +60197154686.

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