Gaming Addiction : Symptoms, Effects and Treatment

Gaming Addiction : Symptoms, Effects and Treatment

Gaming Addictions

If you must play, Decide upon three things at the start: The rules of the game, The stakes, and the quitting time.

Gaming Addiction also known as Internet gaming disorder (IGD) is characterized by severely reduced control over gaming habits resulting in negative impacts on daily functioning, including personal, social, educational and occupational responsibilities. It is a contemporary phenomenon that has significant attention in recent years.

Since video games and technology have permeated every aspect of contemporary life, some people find it difficult to distinguish between addiction and entertainment. An overwhelming and uncontrollable need to play video games is the hallmark of this disorder, which can have negative effects on a person’s life in many different ways.

Let’s talk about the Psychology behind this:

The brain’s reward region releases dopamine in reaction to an enjoyable event or high levels of arousal. The brain links playing video games with dopamine when an individual experiences hyperarousal. A strong desire to pursue that same pleasure repeatedly develops in the individual. Some key factors behind this are – Escapism, Social interaction, Loss of control, Sense of Achievement, Withdrawal system, Tolerance and many more.

Also Read: Reel addiction and ways to deal with it


How Can You Identify Your Child Is Having Internet Gaming Disorder? Let’s Talk about the symptoms of Gaming Addiction.

  1. Social and Psychological withdrawal: people might distance themselves from their loved ones, for instance, in order to spend more time playing. When forced to stop playing the game, this tendency might become so strong that it causes emotional instability. They are consequently unable to concentrate on anything but playing.
  2. Lying or Hiding: Playing video games for extended periods of time can cause players to neglect their diet, sleep patterns, and personal cleanliness. Gamers may lie to their parents about how much work they are accomplishing, claim to be using their PC for work, or invent a variety of excuses for which they are unable to step out and try not to socialize.
  3. Preoccupation with gaming: The onset of video game addiction occurs when players become fixated on their games to the point that they fantasize and think about them when they should be concentrating on other tasks, like studying.
  4. Defensiveness and Anger: Addicts to video games may react defensively and angrily when forced to stop playing or when they feel driven to play. When parents limit their kids’ gaming time, they find that their children can become irrationally upset, harsh, and even violent.
  5. Loss of interest in other activities: An individual becomes less interested in everyday activities they used to enjoy as their addiction to video games grows.

Also Read: what do you do for sleepless nights?

Tips to deal with gaming addiction:
  • There should be a balance Between screen time and activities that require social interactions.
  • Create structured screen-free times – in the mornings or before bedtime.
  • Consider apps that control the length of time that your child can use a device.
  • Charge all devices outside of children’s bedrooms at night.
  • Parents should learn and be aware of game rating categories and should allow their children to play video games suitable for their ages.
Seeking help

Specific types of psychotherapy that may benefit children with video game addiction:

  1. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy(CBT): This kind of therapy is goal-oriented and structured. You can examine your ideas and feelings more closely with the assistance of a therapist or psychologist. You’ll learn how your thoughts influence your behaviour. You can learn to acquire more positive thought patterns and habits and unlearn obsessive and negative behaviours through cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for video game addiction.
  2. Group Therapy: Under the guidance of a therapist or psychologist, a group of people get together to describe and discuss their difficulties as part of this sort of psychotherapy. For those who suffer from video game addiction and have lost touch with friends or peers due to their addiction, group therapy can be an invaluable source of inspiration and moral support.
  3. Family or Marriage Counselling: This kind of treatment can improve home stability and educate loved ones about the illness.
Risk Factors of Gaming Addiction

Let’s Talk about the Risk Factors for developing video game addiction:

  1. Psychological Factors
  2. Low self-Control
  3. Anxiety
  4. Impulsiveness
  5. Behavioural Factors
  6. Having a gaming community membership
  7. Spending money on gaming
  8. Increasing weekday gaming time

Let’s have a look at a recent research paper on gaming addiction – understanding the psychology behind compulsive gaming behaviour.

Bach, Granero, Potenza (2023), Obsessive-compulsive, harm-avoidance and persistence tendencies in patients with gambling.

Understanding the precise function of obsessive-compulsive traits in various behavioural addictions is a topic of increasing attention. Consequently, examining the presence of obsessive-compulsive traits in individuals with various behavioural addictions was a primary goal of the current study.  The existence of clusters among treatment-seeking patients based on obsessive-compulsive measures was investigated by a clustering approach.

Method of the study:  The Symptom Checklist-Revised, and the Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised were obtained from 4,010 treatment-seeking patients. Obsessive-compulsive features were measured with the obsessive–compulsive subscale of the Symptom Checklist-Revised and the harm avoidance and persistence dimensions of the Temperament and Character Inventory-Revised.

Result: Patients with gambling disorders had the lowest scores on harm avoidance, and internet gaming disorder patients had the lowest scores on persistence. Two clusters that are mutually exclusive were found. Compared to Cluster 2, Cluster 1 displayed a more maladaptive psychopathological and personality profile.

These findings offer fresh information about the obsessive-compulsive traits of particular behavioural addictions. Treatment strategies should take into account the possibility that various addictions may exhibit varying degrees of OCD symptoms.


Winning a video game may require cognitive skills and reflexes while winning at gambling is mainly a matter of chance. Addiction to Video Gaming can have a negative impact on many aspects of your life- including self-care, relationships, school, and work. Combining behavioural and psychological therapies is crucial for treating gaming addiction.

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