Gaming Disorder, Its Causes and Treatments

Gaming disorder refers to the obsessive and compulsive misuse of video games and online games as a form of stress relief. It results in prioritizing gaming over daily activities and interests and in continuing to game in spite of any potential drawbacks. In other words, gamers are aware of the need to put down their devices and take care of other daily responsibilities, including attending social events or getting enough rest, but many find it difficult to restrain them. Similar to the more common internet and smartphone addiction, gaming disorder may be considered a type of technology addiction. The condition is frequently referred to as online or video game addiction.

Risk of Gaming Disorder:

Even while the majority of the symptoms described appear to have only temporary impacts on those with gaming condition, if the addiction is not treated, they may develop into long-term repercussions. For instance, while skipping sleep and eating poorly may initially cause short-term exhaustion, hunger, or weight gain, if these symptoms persist, they might develop into much more serious sleeping disorders or diet-related health difficulties. Additionally, gaming disorder has negative effects on finances, employment, and education. The expense of the equipment and the required high speed internet might add significantly to the financial strain.

Causes and Symptoms of Gaming Disorder:

According to numerous researches, mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and stress as well as gaming disorder may co-occur. Users who struggle with these underlying problems may develop the habit of playing video games excessively because it allows them to escape from the uncomfortable emotions they experience; in some cases, this may be the only thing that helps them feel better.

For at least a year, a person with a gaming condition will exhibit the following symptoms:

  • Unable to regulate their gaming behaviors
  • Favoring gaming over other hobbies and pursuits
  • Carrying on with gaming despite its drawbacks
  • Fatigue due to lack of sleep
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome resulting from the overuse of a controller or computer mouse
  • Migraines resulting from eye strain and/or intense concentration.

These habits must be so extreme that they have an impact on a person’s:

  • social life
  •  family life
  •  personal life
  •  Education
  •  Work

Types of Video Game:

Multiplayer Video Game

Video games that support online multiplayer are played with other players. These games are particularly compelling since players can create and briefly assume the identity of an online character and there is no obvious conclusion. The multiplayer environment enables all users to establish connections and a community that at times seems like their home and place of acceptance.

Standard Game

Standard video games have a clear objective or mission and are made to be played by one person. The need to fulfill the objective, surpass a high score, or surpass other predetermined criteria is what drives the addiction to video games.

How can game disorder be treated?

The intensity of each person’s gaming addiction is determined by an evaluation of that person as a whole. The goal of treatment is typically to assist the patient in quitting gaming altogether because, for someone who is prone to gaming addiction, even a modest quantity of gaming can gradually worsen into a problem.

The goal of treatment is to assist someone who has a gaming addiction to:

  • Reduce your game-playing time over time.
  • Understand their own addictive tendencies.
  • Recognize the reasons why they become addicted to gaming, and then devise coping mechanisms.
  • Recognize the damage their gaming addiction is doing.

Treatment of Gaming Disorder:

There is currently no established treatment for gaming disorder because it is a relatively new diagnosis. Treatments for other addictive behaviors, such as gambling addiction, may, however, also be applicable to gaming problem. Therapy, medication, and self-help groups may all be used in the treatment of compulsive gambling.

  • Interpersonal
  • Family involvement
  • Creation of a new way of life
  • Psychoeducation
  • Intrapersonal

Interpersonal

By practicing their communication and assertiveness abilities, the patient will learn how to communicate with others during this treatment.

Family Involvement

Family members might need to participate in some areas of therapy if the gaming disorder is negatively affecting interpersonal relationships.

Creating of a new way of life

People should examine their talents and abilities, make objectives for themselves, and engage in activities they enjoy other than gaming in order to prevent excessive gaming.

Psychoeducation

This entails teaching the individual of gaming practices and their impact on mental health.

Intrapersonal

Through this therapy, patients can better understand who they are, develop self-esteem, and sharpen their emotional intelligence.

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