Down to the accessibility that the internet has provided, gaming is now a universal hobby, pastime, and activity, which offers immersive, virtual communities and worlds.
While it’s a form of relaxation for some, where sensible and sustainable gaming activity is enabled, for others it has however become a constant reinforcer, a motivator of anger and obsessive issues, a negative in relationships and lifestyle management, and a driver of addiction.
Those who do not see the desirability of gaming will not understand the addictive tendencies behind such platforms.
However, where minimal exposure is encountered, paired with a degree of vulnerability, reaching the next level, beating your all-time best or simply seeing gaming as an escape can amount to a behavioural addiction.
Exposure to artificial content, to entertainment and to immersive platforms, such as gaming can change behaviours, adapt outlooks, and damage emotional responses.
If you’re finding yourself spending a lot of time gaming, if you’re encountering negative side effects such as a short fuse, aggression, and irritability, if you’re obsessing over your gaming persona, and if such actions are impacting your real life, gaming addiction could be present.
Considering gaming addiction treatment & rehab will be a must, to tackle the positive reinforcement that gaming offers, while working through further behavioural consequences.
Reach out for support here at Addiction Advocates with your gaming problems.
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Why is gaming addictive?
Gaming is an addictive source of entertainment, distraction and release as it impacts emotional responses.
Whether it induces happy chemicals, whether it relaxes players, whether it heightens motivation and competitiveness, or whether it acts as a means of engagement, emotions are linked to gaming.
When emotions are either heightened, suppressed, or adapted, the risks of mental vulnerabilities are higher. Those vulnerabilities can surround obsessive, compulsive, routine, and habit-like behaviours, perfectly reflecting an addiction.
Reasonably, each experience is different, where gaming may have increased the risk of depression or anxiety, down to the whirlwind it creates, or whether such mental health issues create the excessive coping habit of gaming.
Either way, gaming alone is addictive, and especially so when paired with a dual diagnosis of a heightened emotional response.
There are also many addictive parts to gaming, all depending on the personality and the moment of exposure. The competitiveness of it can trigger habitual behaviours, as can the distraction that it offers, as can the community feel that it promotes.
Yet without control, feeling addicted to those encounters, emotions and experiences can trigger an overarching addiction, along with emotional problems, such as aggression issues.
Down to the complex nature of addiction, sourcing gaming addiction treatment & rehab services will be wise, in tandem with dual diagnosis treatment.
Signs of a gaming addiction
Signs of addiction can transpire through social impacts, psychological changes, and behavioural adaptations. If you’re experiencing such symptoms while exposed to gaming, you’ll be at risk of developing a behavioural addiction.
- Irritability while not gaming, reflecting withdrawal symptoms to some degree
- Isolation from others who do not game
- Extreme mood changes in general
- Strong emotional responses while playing
- Spending long bouts of time gaming
- Withdrawing from other responsibilities and routines, prioritising your gaming persona
- Feeling low after gaming
- Using gaming as a coping strategy
- Obsessive thoughts while gaming
- Spending a lot of money on online gaming
- Immersing oneself in gaming
Ultimately, gaming is a hobby for most, unless you’re a paid streamer. Otherwise, it shouldn’t deter other areas of life, which if it is, consequences are likely, including an addiction diagnosis, requiring the help of treatment and rehab.
Consequences of excessive gaming
Excessive gaming can develop into further problems, which we’ve touched on higher up. Mental health concerns are the greatest worry, down to the rollercoaster effects of gaming.
Screen time, to an extensive degree, is also impairing the mind, vision, and overall functionality of the brain. Spending significant amounts of time, concentrating on gaming can be unhealthy, resulting in further conditions.
It’s also found that a gaming addiction can develop into aggression problems, the inability to process emotions rationally, false ideas of reality, and the abuse of further coping strategies.
Ultimately, long-term. excessive gaming activity can adapt behaviours to such an unrecognisable state, requiring professional gaming addiction treatment & rehab.
Gaming addiction treatment & rehab
If you’re experiencing the signs of gaming addiction, treatment & rehab services will be a positive step for you to complete, which can also address any further behavioural or emotional problems you may be encountering.
You may feel stuck in a vicious cycle where gaming is managing your mental health symptoms yet is also aggravating your addictive behaviours.
At Addiction Advocates, we can help you find the right support.
Treatment for gaming addiction
Treatment that will benefit a gaming addiction surrounds psychological development and understanding.
Cognitive behavioural therapy, stress management, dual diagnosis treatment and exposure therapy will all work to understand emotional responses and the role that gaming plays for you.
From here therapy will work to digest your emotions and increase your awareness of how to utilise a coping outlet without becoming obsessive.
As gaming surrounds impulse control, working on tolerances and self-help tips surrounding personal boundaries will be helpful, to reduce the effects of gaming for the long term.
Rehab for gaming addiction
Rehab itself will combine gaming addiction treatment, further recovery steps of relapse prevention and wellbeing management to help you cope without gaming.
It’s very important to complete a rehab programme with such content to increase your understanding and confidence in addiction recovery.
Work with our team at Addiction Advocates to secure gaming addiction treatment & rehab services with suitability in mind. Living with a behavioural addiction can be very tough. Avoid this by considering professional support.
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