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How to Quit Video Game Addiction

Studies have shown that a video game addiction might harm your emotional, academic, professional, and romantic growth.

Understanding Video Game Addiction

The issue of prolonged, obsessive video game use is also known as gaming disorder or a video game addiction. This often compromises one’s ability to carry out daily tasks and can impact other areas of life as well.

There is a growing amount of studies being conducted that is researching the impact of video games on the brain. In the United States, almost two hundred million individuals routinely play video games. The average time spent playing video games for at least three hours each week.1

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Demographics of Video Game Addiction

The typical video gamer in America is a 35-year-old adult, and 72% of them are 18 or older. It is not to imply that teenage gaming addiction services aren’t necessary, as computer game addiction among youth is still a big issue. Playing video games and watching tv accounts for around 25% of the time spent by American children.2

Why Is Video Game Addiction Controversial?

It is agreed among many scientists that there is not enough information available to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that a person who plays video games exhibits addiction-related signs and symptoms per other DSM-5 standards.

Video game addiction is also relatively newer, as computers and video games are more widely available now than they ever have been in the past. This newness also means there hasn’t been enough comprehensive studies done on the topic to definitively diagnose it as an addiction.

Why Video Games Can Be Addictive

Like cigarettes, alcohol, or drugs, screen time or video games may damage your relationships and health if you cannot control it. Video game withdrawal can be as real as withdrawal from drugs. Several "hooks" are used to make video game addiction so common:

Highmark and Computer Game Addiction

High scores or completion rates are readily apparent in video game hooks. Trying to beat the top score might keep a player occupied for hours.

Rivalry and Video Game Dependency

Many gamers compete with acquaintances and other players online. Online competitive gaming varies. Some games have players establish clans to battle against other teams, while others adopt a "battle royale" mode. The aim is to climb the scoreboard or impress friends.

Game-Winning and Video Game Disorder

Although it is not utilized in online role-playing games, you may find this hook in practically any gaming system. The motivation to beat the game grows when a player "levels up" or finds the next clue.

Discovery and Relationships

Video games allow gamers to choose their characters and travel their unique journeys. It's more difficult to quit playing due to this new emotional bond the player creates with the character.

Relationships between gamers are also greatly growing and act as a very strong hook. Online video games let players make connections, and some adolescents find acceptance in this online group, which brings them back time and time again.

People who have issues with being bullied, maintaining face-to-face contact, or being harassed may seek refuge in a world that is conducted online since it seems to be less judgmental and less anxiety-inducing.

Symptoms of Video Game Addiction

You may first need to determine whether you or a loved one has an addiction to video games before seeking professional help. The following are some of the warning signs of video game addiction:

Playing Video Games During Free Time

Someone may have started out with only playing a game for an hour or two a day, but soon you find that the person is playing games or engaging in other gaming-related activities whenever they have spare time and don’t want to do anything else.

Disregards Work or School

If you often call in sick or stay home from class to play games constantly, this can be a concern. A day off from work or school here and there isn’t too concerning, but doing it over and over could be a problem.

Disregarding Family

If someone has started becoming increasingly addicted to a game, they might start neglecting or ignoring their family, which can be harmful for both the children or spouse, as well as yourself.

Health Problems

A video game addiction may be evident if one spends the entire night playing online games, starts to exhibit mood swings, or other health issues. Besides gaming anxiety and addiction, there have even been cases of people passing away due to being unable to stop playing games.

Prioritizing Video Games Over Essentials

A person grappling with video game addiction often prioritizes games over the other necessities of life. If the rent is not paid to get the newest games, or there isn’t enough food in the house, this can be a clear sign of addiction.

The Health Impact of Video Game Addiction

The effects of video game addiction can be dire. They can affect your health and generate stress in your life. Here are some of its most harmful repercussions.

Vision Strain

Playing video games for lengthy durations can create eye strain, presenting various vision-related problems, such as migraines and disorientation.

Muscle Pain

A 2018 analysis included evidence that revealed that excessive video game playing may create intense pain in the players’ wrists and arm from excessive use. You can also develop blisters, nail problems, and tendon strains in your hands from regular gaming.

Weight Gain and Obesity

Children in the United States spend roughly 25% of their time playing video games or watching television. This often means that many children and adults do not partake in enough physical activity in order to keep their body healthy.

Impaired Social Relationships

You may meet new acquaintances and work with a team while staying anonymous by using an "avatar" in the game. This element might assist folks who feel socially uncomfortable or have poor self-esteem in respecting the game's social side.

But real life social interactions are also crucial and can enhance mental health significantly more than virtual relationships. This isn’t always the case, but it’s important to keep in mind that you should cultivate relationships with family and friends as well.


Graphs, lights, and hues can set off a seizure if you have epileptic seizures, which is also called a video game-induced seizure.3

How to Stop Video Game Addiction

There are many ways that you can work to help stop video game addiction. These include:

  • Restricting your access to gaming platforms
  • Creating a healthier lifestyle
  • Seeking the services of an expert

Video Game Addiction

Therapies for Video Game Dependency

Here are a few therapies that may be helpful in the treatment of a video gaming disorder.

Psychological Counseling with CBT

Medical practitioners typically recommend cognitive-behavioral therapy as the most effective method for overcoming a video game addiction.

Clients who receive this therapy can alter their thought patterns and stop feeling the desire to play video games constantly. Cognitive-behavioral therapy aids patients in altering their beliefs, emotions, and behavior.

Wilderness Therapy

Since this therapy separates the player from the source of their addiction, its supporters claim that it offers the best opportunity for recovery. Additionally, it is thought that if addicts are placed in a natural environment free from distractions and trappings of contemporary life, they may be able to learn better to manage their emotions as well.

Individual and Group Counseling

People who struggle with gaming issues could benefit from individual and group therapy, where they can interact with others who share their struggles. A typical gaming addiction therapy environment is a gaming support group.

Therapy for Families

When a family member is battling video game addiction, the therapist may urge the family to attend counseling for gaming addiction as well.

This is so that the entire family may participate in the treatment, as they may often be affected by the addiction as well. Family members can assist in various ways to help a gamer comprehend how gaming impacts the whole family.
Therapists can also help the person understand how gaming affects their overall life objectives and rewards, temperament, and performance at work or school.

Treatment Based on 12 Steps

Computer Gaming Addicts Anonymous is an example of a 12-step support organization.4Those who have been harmed by their use of computers and video games might create support groups for gaming addictions to help each other in their journey to recovery.5

Get Help for Video Game Addiction at Boardwalk Recovery

If you or a loved one are looking for a gaming addiction rehab, contact the reputable Boardwalk Recovery for treatment. We will be with you every step of the way during recovery, and can offer many different avenues of support depending on what you may need during the recovery process.
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