So you think you’re addicted to gaming? We all need a bit of an escape from the world every so often, and for a lot of people, that involves disappearing into video games. However, there comes a point when this escapism takes over your life. If you’re struggling to put down your controller and enjoy everything else that life has to offer, you may have an addiction. Here’s how to know for sure.
Extreme moods outside of the game
Not partaking in an addiction leads a person to develop withdrawal symptoms. For people hooked on gaming, this manifests as intense feelings of anger, depression and anxiety whenever they’re away from their console. They won’t be able to calm down until they’re back on the game and getting their fix, thereby restarting the addiction cycle.
The only thing on your mind
Can’t think about anything else other than your games? It’s the same for many addicts out there. If you’re spending all your free time thinking about the next time you get to play, then you may well have a problem. It’s common for people with video game addiction to prioritize their play sessions over everything else, causing them to lose track of other things happening in their lives.
Becoming distant from everyone
Video game addicts don’t have time to hang out with their friends and family. Every minute spent socializing at the dinner table or someone else’s house is a minute that could be used to reach the next level. You might not feel like you’re anti-social because you chat with your virtual friends all the time, but the people you meet online aren’t the ones you grew up with. If you ever fall out with them, it may be too late to save your real-world relationships.
Spending so much time in front of a screen isn’t good for your health. Playing video games all the time can give you headaches, irritable eyes, and even cause carpal tunnel syndrome. Weight gain through bad eating habits, difficulty sleeping and poor hygiene are also linked to this addiction, with things like showering considered to take too much time away from gaming.
Productivity at an all-time low
Struggling at work or school? It’s probably because your mind is on things other than what you’re meant to be doing. Rather than buckling down and getting work done, you’re dreaming about video games and wishing you were playing one. Many people see their performance and productivity drop significantly when they’re in the grips of an addiction, and it doesn’t improve until they tackle the problem head-on.
It’s taken a long time for video game addiction to be taken seriously, but it’s a very real and dangerous problem. It’s only going to become more of an issue now that the new generation is growing up with so much advanced gaming technology already available to them. If you feel that any of this applies to you, don’t be afraid to get help. It’s better to tackle the issue while you can before it ruins your life.