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Video Game Addiction & Mental Health: How The Two Are Connected

Anything in excess is bad for you. As far as addiction to video games is concerned, the World Health Organization has recognized it as a gaming disorder. This classification is expected to be finally official on January 1, 2020. The International Classification of Diseases has claimed that such an addiction is, in fact, a qualified mental health disorder. If you want to know more about this, go through the facts given below and find out if you are a victim of addiction to gaming.

Symptoms Of Video Game Addiction

Video game addiction is marked by persistent gaming behavior which includes addiction to video gaming or digital gaming which can be accessed both online as well as offline. Giving utmost priority to gaming, ignoring daily activities and other interests in life, and failing to focus on work, studies, social relationships, and family life due to gaming are the main symptoms of this addiction. WHO is advising gamers to take into account of the time they are spending on games, particularly if that comes at the cost of the basic day-to-day activities. Aside from that, they should keep track of any changes in their psychological as physical health which might be caused due to excessive gaming.

The Extreme Situations

According to some experts from the World Health Organization who deal with mental health and substance abuse, addiction to gaming generally involves individuals who play video games for as much as 19 to 20 hours in a day and ignoring any kind of social activity and even food and sleep. News regarding gamers having serious health issues and facing death pours in daily from many quarters, and this itself is a testimony of the consequences. Of late, PUBG (PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds) has been a craze among the youth, and people as young as 16 years old have died owing to severe cardiac arrest. The reason? Playing PUBG for prolonged periods. A ban on the game might be on the cards soon.

Are You A Victim?

Playing video games intensely is pretty normal with the youth today. However, things are under control if that’s occasional. Problems occur when this continues for more than a year or so. If the addiction is diagnosed properly, unfortunate situations can be avoided, of course with the required treatments. This disorder is observed in people whose digital life seems to be more important than basic activities like work, sleep, hygiene, health, education, or social activities. Actually, it’s not about the hours that one dedicates towards gaming — it’s about how severe the symptoms are.

Did WHO Take Into Consideration All Factors?

Looking at the other side of the coin, not all gamers are addicted. As a matter of fact, there are people who don’t spend the majority of a day in front of their TVs, playing video games. Video game manufacturers seem to be displeased with this declaration from the World Health Organization. They claim that over 20 million people share a healthy relationship with such video games and enjoy them sensibly. These manufacturers want WHO to overturn this declaration. The Video Games Coalition believes that video games provide educational and therapeutic values as well. According to them, the World Health Organization has made an incoherent decision without proper research. What do you think?

When Should A Person Be Diagnosed With This Addiction?

While this disorder won’t probably affect a lot of gamers, if the symptoms continue for over a year, they could easily be diagnosed. So, people need to be a bit careful as far as excessive gaming is concerned. However, if you are already a gaming addict, you may try doing physical activities to get rid of the addiction.

With all these being said, it’s tough for a game addict to have optimum control over the time they spend and the urge they have. They fail to note down how long a session continues because time slips by when one is too focused on finishing a quest. They even fail to recognize their recurrent gaming behavioral pattern. Even though the decision taken by the World Health Organization hasn’t been received in good taste by gamers and various video game manufacturers, the organization might have its own reasons in labeling the addiction as a disorder. Hopefully, after proper detection and treatment, game addicts would give more time to family and indulge in social activities.

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