What is Video Gaming Disorder?

 

Video games are more popular than ever. Though millions of people enjoy the hobby with no adverse effects, there are others who aren’t so lucky. These are the people who suffer from video gaming disorder – an addictive disorder that can turn games from a fun diversion to a dangerous addiction.

 

What is Video Gaming Disorder

 

Video Gaming Disorder, also called Video Game or Computer Addiction, is a type of impulse control disorder. Unlike some other forms of addiction, there is no physical substance to which the sufferer becomes addicted. Instead, he or she is addicted to a video game or computer program. It’s not necessary that the individual be addicted to any one game or even to games in particular – this is a form of technology addiction that has more to do with what the individual gets out of his or her technology use than any other factor. 

 

Individuals who suffer from this addiction typically turn towards games as a substitute for real-life connections. These individuals get some kind of positive interaction from the game, whether it’s in terms of social fulfillment or the ability to obtain the kind of success they cannot obtain in real life. In some cases, it’s a simple feedback loop of chasing the elation that comes from success from one game to the next. Regardless of the exact reason why these addicts tend to chase after these feelings, they get from playing these games, the act of just playing the games begins to hurt their lives in the real world.

 

The Danger of Video Gaming Disorder

 

Those who are addicted to video gaming generally suffer serious social and economic impacts of their addiction. Because of the significant amount of time often required to make progress in games, individuals can let their real-life relationships suffer. It’s not uncommon to see addicted individuals lose jobs or do poorly in school because they prioritize their time for games over anything else. Health issues are also common, as the individuals may choose to prioritize their time spent in the game world over their actual health. 

 

Warning Signs

 

It’s always a good idea to be the lookout for warning signs of video gaming disorders. The most common sign is that the individual begins to spend increased amounts of time in the world of the game, but this alone does not mean that addiction has set in. Instead, one should look for the prioritization of the game over other relationships and activities. Perhaps the most telling sign, though, is that the individual reacts with irritability or moodiness when not able to use the game. This, combined with an inability to cut back on playing the game, tends to be the biggest sign that a person is suffering from a real problem.

 

There’s a fine line between enjoying a game as a hobby and becoming addicted. If you or a loved one seems to be addicted, it’s important to reach out to an experienced professional for health. Though this type of addiction has only been classified recently, there is still help out there for those in need. 

 

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