People can get addicted to anything. The vast majority of the time, when people think of addiction, they think of drug and alcohol addiction, and rightly so. Drug addiction and alcohol addiction are the two most concerning substance abuse problems in the country today, but that does not mean that they are the only substance abuse problems or addiction problems in this country.
One thing that people can get addicted to and one addiction that is becoming a lot more common is an addiction to video games. More and more teens, adolescents, young adults, and even mature adults are becoming addicted to their video games each and every year. Since the 1970s, video games have been around, enrapturing our attention and exciting us, but in recent years, people have actually begun to get addicted to them.
But when does gaming actually advance from being a serious past time and on to an addiction? Similar to gambling, the key factor in video game addiction is called “Process Addiction.” This is when a person is addicted to the process, not something physical or chemically altering (like drugs, alcohol, sex, or cigarettes). Process Addiction for video gaming is all about winning. People get addicted to the rush they get from winning in a video game, much like the rush people who are addicted to gambling get when they win.
Video games can create addiction. In fact, any type of video game can create an addiction and video game addiction is only getting more and more common as the years go by. According to WebMD, video game addiction is a type of impulse control disorder. While there is little risk involved (at least not on the level of risk that comes about with gambling, drug abuse, or alcohol abuse), people still get addicted to video games because they simply cannot stop playing, even when the sheer amount of time they are spending on the game starts negatively impacting other areas of their lives.
Video Game Addiction
Video game addiction, while not necessarily life-threatening, does bring about a whole slew of negative consequences:
- Sedentary lifestyle. People aren’t really moving when they are playing video games, and when they play as long as they do, that gets pretty unhealthy pretty quickly. Especially for a young person, hour after hour spent staring at a screen definitely takes its toll on a person. Excessive video gaming can lead to weight gain, poor posture, and increased risks of type 2 diabetes in American teens and children, along with all of the other health problems that are associated with weight gain.
- Attention problems. All of the fast-paced action and changes in video games creates a difficulty in concentrating for some players. Such youngsters may become less interested in reading books or studying, which takes a great deal of concentration.
- Avoiding tasks that are important. When people get sucked into video games, they stop spending the necessary time and attention on things that they should be doing. When people play video games excessively, they don’t get out into the world and interact with others. They don’t engage in the life experiences that they need to engage in to grow and learn and mature. They use video games to avoid tasks that are important for them to do, and if they continue to avoid them, then they never develop the skills that they need to develop to address those tasks.
- Increased violence. People who play violent games excessively and for long enough can develop violent habits and aggression within themselves. This is not a given, but if you expose a teen, adolescent, or young adult to violent gaming content long enough it is more likely that they will pick some of that up in their behavior than someone who is not exposed to that content at all.
- Seizures and injury. The British Medical Journal put out an article about how video gaming can contribute to seizures. Flickering lights, graphics, sounds, and intensive, hyper-action within the game can trigger seizures. Also, repetitive gaming can create injuries in the hands, wrists, and fingers.
Addressing an Addiction to Video Gaming
Sending a person who is addicted to video gaming to rehab might seem a little excessive, but sometimes that is what it takes to effectively handle this addiction. When one gets down to the root source of the problem behind an addiction to gaming, one can find that the nature of the beast of this type of addiction is actually very similar to the types of problems that people face with addictions to drugs and alcohol, gambling, sex, porn, eating, and all of the other addictions.
Essentially, there are other, underlying issues that the person is just not coping with. If you know someone who is addicted to video games, call A Forever Recovery today at (866)-441-1589.