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Video Game Addiction

What is Video Game Addiction?

Often it is parents (or loved ones) who complain that their children or (partner) are spending too much time playing video games. Video game “addiction” usually refers to someone who is spending too much time or money on video games, to the detriment of other aspects of their life.

Video games might be becoming a problem if you’re:

  • Spending substantial time gaming, and loved ones complain that they don’t see you anymore
  • Constantly thinking about the game and can’t wait to get back to playing it
  • Up late gaming, sleeping in, and become too tired or late for things
  • Unable to do chores, school, or work because you spend too much time gaming

What is Online Gaming Addiction?

Online gaming can become addictive for a number of reasons. One is the social component. You might feel addicted to chatting with online friends, not wanting to let them down by failing to complete your portion of the game, or wanting to do your part to advance the game, or simply the thrill of winning.

At a neurological level, video games can feel addictive because the pleasure centers of the brain become activated when you play, therefore you can feel a strong desire to keep playing.

How is Video Game Addiction or Online Gaming Addiction treated?

Similar to other addictions, you might prefer a harm reduction model or a “cold turkey” type of treatment. This means that your goal might be to reduce gaming or to stop it altogether. The choice is up to you, based on what fits your personality and your lifestyle. This is not a decision that your therapist will force on you, but one that you can discuss together, in order to help you achieve your best outcome.
Similarly, video game addiction or online gaming addiction is not something that others can force you to overcome. While a hobby can be fun, only you can choose how much space it should take up in your life, keeping in mind your other hopes and dreams as well.

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