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Has Gaming become addiction, what are the Symptoms of it?

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Everyone enjoys a good game, and most adults today remember the days of video arcades.  Even the first video game consoles brought the joy of gaming to the living room. Thirty years ago, video games were almost inextricably linked to arcades, and no such condition as gaming addiction existed. However, today we have a massive population of video game consoles and a wide variety of genres for gamers of all ages. Therefore, the likelihood of video games to be the subject of addiction is growing regularly.

Along with all other behavioral addictions other than gambling, gaming addiction is not listed in the DSM-V (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).  It may seem to be no more than an excuse to play games for some people. However, the effects of gaming addiction cause unmanageability in the lives of addicts.

Gaming addiction is not limited to teenagers and children. Many adults also isolate themselves to engage in compulsive gaming. With such a wide variety of game genres, there is something for gamers of every age. In fact, all video games come with an ESRB (Entertainment Software Rating Board) rating.  This rating categorizes the appropriateness of a game for a target audience.

Like all behavioral addictions, gaming addiction is considered to be an impulse control disorder.  It is characterized by a person’s obsession with video gameplay. For most people addicted to video games, the problem often begins in elementary or middle school. For others, gaming addiction can come later in life. It is not generally the first experience with a particular behavior that initiates an addiction.  Rather, underlying problems prompt a need for escapism. In other words, compulsive gaming is not the problem, rather a symptom of the problem within the individual.  The causes of game addiction are as varied as the individuals affected.

The American Psychiatric Association has identified nine warning signs to watch for when it comes to recognising gaming disorder. Although these can be helpful to better understand the severity of your own situation, it’s important to always seek the advice of a professional.

  • Preoccupation with video games. The individual thinks about previous gaming activity or anticipates playing the next game; Gaming becomes the dominant activity in daily life.
  • Withdrawal symptoms when gaming is taken away. These symptoms are typically described as irritability, anxiety, boredom, cravings, or sadness.
  • Tolerance – the need to spend increasing amounts of time engaged in video games. This may be motivated by a need for the completion of increasingly intricate, time-consuming, or difficult goals to achieve satisfaction and/or reduce fears of missing out.
  • Unsuccessful attempts to control participation in video games.
  • Loss of interests in previous hobbies and entertainment as a result of, and with the exception of, video games.

There is thus a need for many people to get rid of such an addiction and continue their normal and healthy living patterns. However, not being included in the addiction generally people might take it normally and casually. There is however, a need for an expert to deal with the situation and get the person out of this addiction in a healthy manner. Serene Retreat is one of the leading Addiction and Mental Health Treatment provider based in Malaysia with its branches locally and abroad. For more information about our treatment programs you can reach us via Call/Whatsapp+60 14-687 2268 or visit our website www.sereneretreat.com.my.

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