What is video game addiction?
Video game addiction is a disease that causes the patient to have an uncontrollable need to compulsively play electronic games. The patient is unable to control his desire and his desire leads him to play irremediably for a great number of hours.
Although it is obvious, in many cases the patient does not recognize his addiction. The families of those affected by this disorder are alarmed to see that this obsession leads to serious problems in the quality of life of these people.
Those affected tend to be mainly young men, as they are usually fans of this type of entertainment. Although in the past it was socially frowned upon, nowadays the gamer or video game field has become very professionalized with the creation of world championships of certain video games. These tournaments fall under the phenomenon known as eSports, which have unintentionally contributed to a visible growth of addicts in this field.
Prognosis of the disease
An addiction, as its very name suggests, is not a positive thing, but quite the opposite. Addiction to video games is a behavioral addiction (just like addiction to gambling, sex, shopping or cell phones) and as such is less harmful to our body than addiction to drugs, which carry a much greater risk and consequences for our body.
The main risk of behavioral addictions is that they affect the mental health of the person affected. It is important to be able to diagnose them as soon as possible so that a specialist can establish the most appropriate treatment. In this aspect, close friends and relatives play a fundamental role.
Sometimes these addictions can lead to other diseases or disorders such as depression, anxiety, drug use or schizophrenia. In addition, they can end up affecting their close environment, especially pregnant women.
Video game addiction is a disease that provokes in the patient the uncontrollable need to play games
uncontrollable need to play electronic games compulsively.
Symptoms presented by addicts
Addiction to video games presents several symptoms, which will depend largely on the degree of addiction and the personality of the person. The most common are:
- Social isolation
- Worsening of academic performance
- Loss of sense of time
- Bone or joint pain
- Excessive anger
Medical tests to detect addiction In order to diagnose this addiction, there are some tests that the patient can take to obtain a self-diagnosis. Likewise, the addict’s close environment can detect in his behavior or in his face evident signs that confirm the addiction.
For their part, experts rely on the presence of different factors to identify the disease:
- Spends 4 hours a day or more playing video games.
- They put aside their obligations to dedicate time to video games.
- Shows physical signs visible to the naked eye.
- They detect several symptoms in him/her by means of a psychopathological evaluation.
What are the causes of video game addiction?
The causes are different in each patient, so it is not possible to establish a single origin of the problem, but it is necessary to individualize the case of each patient. By studying each case in particular, a more pertinent diagnosis will be achieved.
On the other hand, personality plays a fundamental role in patients. In this sense, the following causes can affect each patient to a greater or lesser degree and generate an addiction to video game consoles:
- Difficulty in managing feelings.
- Low tolerance to frustration.
- Belief of superiority.
- The feedback that video games give back when leveling up.
- Problems at work, school or at home that make them seek refuge in a fantasy world.
Can it be prevented?
There are several factors that can help prevent this addiction. However, it is complicated because many factors are involved:
- Family factors: family members with addictions or bad relationship with the family.
- Social factors: unfavorable situation at home.
- School factors: poor grades or bullying from classmates.
- Individual factors: low self-esteem or rebellious attitudes.
Treatments to combat it
In addition to seeing a specialist, which should always be the first option, there are some methods to treat this addiction. The most prominent are:
- Preventing buying games: this way he may end up getting bored with the ones he has.
- Offer other activities to do: an excursion or going to the park can take his mind off his irrepressible desire to play at least for a while.
- Limit the time: allow him to play, but only 1 or 2 hours a day, because if you cut it all at once, he may play at night.
What specialist treats it?
Addictions should be treated by a specialist in Psychiatry.