Gaming can be a great way to unwind, socialise and enjoy spare time.
However, for some, it can become obsessive, eventually proving damaging to a person’s life.
Gaming addiction comes about similarly to drug or alcohol addiction: the brain begins to rely on the dopamine released when playing video games, and soon becomes unable to function properly without it.
For working professionals, this can be particularly damaging as it can encroach on working life, or take up what little free time they have.
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What are the symptoms of gaming addiction?
Games are designed to be fun and harder to put down, especially in the modern age where a game is just a tap away.
So, how do you tell the difference?
As with many addictions, it is the severity of the symptoms that could suggest addiction.
Some of these include:
- Feeling restless when not gaming
- Tiredness, headaches and pain caused by too much time spent gaming
- Abandoning other commitments in, such as work, to spend more time gaming
As opposed to someone who simply enjoys games, an addict will find that gaming has become an uncontrollable and destructive part of their life, reducing their ability to do other things and negatively impacting their personal relationships.
Why is gaming so addictive?
Similar to drug addiction, gaming addiction is rooted in the release of dopamine experienced by the brain.
Some psychologists even consider gaming to be more addictive than drugs.
Whereas drugs only provide one form of dopamine, gaming provides many.
These include a sense of progress, defeating enemies and completing tasks.
What treatments are available for those with gaming addiction?
Treating gaming addiction is similar to other addictions.
A popular route is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
This allows sufferers to identify what is triggering the addictive tendencies and to change their habits for the better.
Castle Craig Hospital is the UK’s leading addiction recovery rehab, specialising in helping professionals to navigate a pathway out of addiction.
If you feel like private rehab is the route for you, click here for more information on Castle Craig Hospital’s treatment programme.
In the case of gaming addiction, there are also steps that addicts can take in their personal lives.
These include gradually reducing the amount of time spent gaming, socialising more with friends and family, and substituting gaming for other hobbies.
For more information about how Castle Craig helps thousands of addicts recover each year and to make an enquiry, click here.