Gaming Disorder – its Symptoms, Causes and Effects

The use of the internet, computer, mobile phones and gaming devices has excessively increased. The moderate use of anything is okay, but addiction is associated with multiple health problems. One of the most common addictions seen in children and teenagers is gaming. Individuals tend to play games for hours and prioritize gaming over other activities. Gaming addictions is not just bad for your physical health, it highly affects your mental health. Children these days prefer playing games that are very violent, which results in highly aggressive behaviours. Gaming addiction is a disorder that is recently recommended by the World Health Organization.

What is Gaming Disorder?

In the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) gaming disorder was denoted as a pattern of digital gaming in which a person has impaired control over gaming activity and he starts giving priority to gaming over other important activities in life. Despite the occurrence of negative consequences of gaming, a person gives priority to gaming. The behavioural pattern must be serious enough for the diagnosis of gaming disorders. It leads to significant impairments in personal, family, social, educational and other important areas of life. Nonetheless, if all conditions are serious and all needs met, healthcare professionals may include moderate game players in the category of gaming disorder.

If we talk about Gaming Disorder Statistics, over 2 billion people play the game all over the world. Gaming is a multibillion-dollar industry that is growing significantly every year. People of all ages play games. 83% of teenage girls all over the world play games regularly, while the Gaming Disorder Statistics of teenage boys is 92%, which is a matter of concern. For most of us, gaming is fun, but for others, it can destructive disorder leading to significant effects in personal relationships, career, education and mental and physical health. Studies have found that 1-10% of gamers struggle with a compulsive addiction to gaming. The average age of a gaming addict person is noted 24 years. There are over 10 million addictive gamers all around the world according to the World Health Organization. This figure is expected to grow in the upcoming years. Don’t just take gaming as a form of entertainment as it can cause serious consequences in the life of a player.

Gaming Disorder Symptoms

Poor performance in other activities

A person who has gaming disorder will perform poorly in school, studies, games, work, household activities, etc. Gaming becomes an important and dominant part of their life. The person with gamin disorder will give more importance to gaming over other necessities.

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Thinking about gaming

A person with gaming disorder will only think about gaming all the time. When they are unable to play the game due to any reason shows some symptoms like irritability, anxiety, boredom, stress or sadness. They can’t control their urge to play games all the time.

Neglecting people and hobbies

People who become a gaming addict give preference to games over people. They have fewer friends and they don’t give priority to their family members. People with gaming disorder often neglect their hobbies. They don’t prefer to spend time playing outdoor games. They keep them arrested in a room and play the game all the time.

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Neglecting their health

People with Gaming disorder continue playing games even after its negative effects on health. They neglect their health and focus on playing games all the time. They even neglect their social problems at school, work or home.

Using the game to ease bad moods

People with gaming disorder use game to ease their bad moods and feelings. Feeling irritated, solution-game, feeling anxious, solution-game, Feeling sad, solution-game, and feeling mentally disturbed, solution-game.

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These were the most common Gaming Disorder Symptoms that shouldn’t be neglected. If you’ll neglect these symptoms, they will bring other health disorders which you are going to read below.

Causes of Gaming Addiction

Gaming disorder brings multiple health problems with it. Some of the health problems are curable, but most of them are extremely dangerous and have no cure. Health problems linked to gaming addiction are –

1.      Vision Issues

Spending hours on screen can ruin your eyes and cause vision issues. Video game playing associated with vision disorders because it causes eye strain. Your cornea, pupil, and iris are not equipped for chronic digital screen staring. A lot of video gamers who are addicted to gaming are suffering from vision impairment. When your visual system strain from frequent video gaming for a long period of time, you may face problems like nausea, dizziness, headache, dark circles, etc.

2.      Mental problems

Frequent gaming for longer period of time is linked to a lot of mental problems. People who are suffering from gaming disorder are highly aggressive, anxious, ADHD and stress. Violent games like PubG and Apex legends are degrading and manipulating your mind. Violent games cause a serious problem of aggression in players.

3.      Muscle, Bone & Skeletal Diseases

Addicted gamers may also suffer from multiple muscles, bone and skeletal disorders. Spending 6-7 hours sitting in front of computer screens playing games can cause pain in the hands, wrist, shoulder, neck and spinal cord. Muscle pain is also a major problem that occurs due to gaming disorder. There are also some postural problems associated with gaming addiction.

4.      Obesity

Playing video games throughout the day is associated with obesity. This is due to a lack of physical activity. Gamers spend their entire day on computer screens playing games, which is bad for their overall health. Lack of physical activity is the most common reason for obesity in people and obesity is linked to other health issues including diabetes, imbalanced blood pressure, high blood-pressure, etc.

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Prevention and treatment of gaming disorder

In order to combat your gaming addiction or disorder, you need to follow several steps, like –

  •          Try spending more time doing physical activities
  •          Keep yourself busy in family and friends
  •          Socialize with people
  •          Read books to enhance intelligence
  •          Involve in counselling
  •          Focus on your career and job
  •          Focus on your education
  •          Explore new activities
  •          Set new goals
  •          Make new hobbies

If you are unable to keep a control on your gaming habits, consult a psychologist. Before it gets late, get the help of an expert now.