How Can Video Game Addiction Affect Mental Health?

Mental Health

Video game addiction can cause a disruption in both mental and physical health. Understand how it can affect mental health, what is considered an addiction, and who is doing it. In today’s generation, the internet has become an integral part of everyone’s life. Children and teenagers have innocent minds, which makes them easily prone to addiction. Video game addiction is as dangerous as drug addiction. If a teenager begins to play games in excess, they could experience health problems such as weight loss or gain, acne breakouts, and sleeping troubles. Students when addicted to mobile gaming start missing out their school studies. This makes them focus on the games instead of their daily routine chores.

It is as dangerous as drug addiction. It is a psychological addiction which makes people go to extremes. Parents now days are allowing their children to use the internet and cell phones thinking it would help them to study. Instead of studying, they get addicted to games and when parents begin noticing this addiction, it’s too late. Addicted children stay online for more than 10 hours a day and ignore all their daily activities. Video game addiction is another form of compulsive behavior, similar to that caused by drugs and alcohol. In fact, some researchers who study game addiction even refer to it as “internet gaming disorder”. People who are addicted to online (or digital) games will play for hours on end, spending time and money that they don’t have. Their addictions can have serious implications not only for themselves but also for their families and friends.

Signs of Video Game Addiction

Knowing the warning signs of video game addiction can help you identify if you or a loved one has an unhealthy relationship with video games. It is important to be able to identify these warning signs so you can seek treatment for addiction, if needed.

Emotional Symptoms of Video Game Addiction:

Some of the emotional symptoms of video game addiction include:

  • Frequent play may cause feelings of restlessness and/or irritability if the game is taken away.
  • Misleading to friends or family members regarding the amount of time spent playing
  • Separation from others in order to spend more time gaming
  • Loss of interest in activities that were previously enjoyed prior to adopting excessive video game playing.
  • Becomes defensive or secretive about game time, levels, or characters.

Physical Symptoms of Video Game Addiction:

Some of the physical symptoms of video game addiction include:

  • Fatigue
  • Migraines caused from intense concentration or eye strain
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome is one of the most common repetitive stress injuries associated with video game playing, and can lead to numbness, tingling and swelling in your fingers.
  • Poor personal hygiene

Getting Help

Recovery is achieved by pursuing an addiction rehab program. Addiction rehab programs commonly involve a combination of therapies and medications, as well as support from family members. A common misconception is that a person suffering from addiction must hit rock bottom before they can begin recovery. This is not always the case, especially when the addiction is severe, such as with video games.

For help with a video game addiction, try cognitive behavioural therapy, a type of mental health counseling that teaches you how to replace thoughts about gaming with ones that help change behaviours. Cognitive behavioural therapy is most effective when done with the guidance of a therapist.


The truth is that video games are not necessarily the source of mental health problems. They can be enjoyed as a recreational activity, but many people get too immersed in them and cannot turn off from them. When people do not know how to deal with their emotions, they tend to use video games to suppress them and get stuck in life. It is important for people to know how to deal with their emotions and make sure that they take a break from their video games.

Video game addiction is a growing problem in the country and it isn’t just gaming related. There are cases like gambling addicts that started with a form of entertainment and got carried away. Gaming addiction is often seen as the cause of many mental problems but whatever the case may be, it doesn’t help to stay stuck in the addiction where therapy or other viable options are available.

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