Here’s How to Recognize Symptoms of Video Game Addiction in Your Family

Video games are some of the most intriguing things out there and in some cases, they are actually beneficial. The player gets to essentially gets to control the drama in a narrative. The problem though is that a lot of people are becoming addicted to that drama. Just like anything else in the world, having too much of something can make you more dependent on that thing.

Recently, the World Health Organization added gaming addiction as a recognized mental health concern. Many people have reacted to that news with a sure shoulder shrug and quip about how that couldn’t happen to them. Here are the signs that you may be addicted to your video games.

Here are the things that the WHO says are signs of a gaming disorder

video game controller

A person plays video games. | Scyther5/iStock/Getty Images

  1. Impaired control over gaming
  2. Increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities
  3. continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

To correctly diagnose a gaming disorder, a person needs to exhibit these warning signs for about 12 months. Those behavior patterns must be “of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.”

Here’s why this was added to the WHO’s mental disorder list

The WHO consulted multiple professionals in the field of mental health from around the world. The International Classification for Diseases (ICD) is the list of “health trends and statistics globally and the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions.” Adding gaming disorder to that list helps countries better plan in the treatment of their citizens.

As WHO explains:

“The inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 follows the development of treatment programmes for people with health conditions identical to those characteristic of gaming disorder in many parts of the world, and will result in the increased attention of health professionals to the risks of development of this disorder and, accordingly, to relevant prevention and treatment measures.”

By identifying this as a disorder and treating it that way, doctors can also use it as a roadmap. That roadmap will help treat other similar diseases we may not fully understand or even recognize yet.

Here is how pervasive this disorder is

Gaming disorder is something that everyone needs to keep an eye on. However, the WHO says that the number of people who can be diagnosed with gaming disorder is low. “Studies suggest that gaming disorder affects only a small proportion of people who engage in digital- or video-gaming activities,” says the WHO.

That doesn’t mean that you can dismiss any concerns that people have about your gaming. If you care about someone, say something. Observe their behaviors. Confront them if it starts to impact their life significantly.

Getting the right treatment for addiction can be extremely difficult. The addiction treatment industry is wildly unregulated. That has raised a lot of concerns about how to adequately treat a person’s addiction.

If you are seeking treatment for addiction or know someone who is, go to this website. You will want to seek out a doctor who is certified in the treatment of addiction. From there, you will be able to better plan out a successful course of treatment based on your individual needs.

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