Gaming Addiction and Its Harmful Effects

The concept of video games isn’t alien to us. Gaming has been around us for 50 years and is an excellent hobby adopted by people in almost every generation. However, its increasing popularity among teenagers and adults continues to disrupt their personal and professional stability.

Since innovations were set in the gaming field, the news headlines constantly remind us of its ill effects. Time and again, we hear disturbing reports of suicides, murders, financial losses, and injuries directly related to video games. For example, in 2004, a 17-year-old boy from England received the death sentence for imitating a death scene in a video game and stabbing another kid over 50 times until he died. Another incident reported in 2012 revealed that an 18-year-old from Taiwan died from playing video games for 40 hours straight. The reason was a blood clot in the leg due to sitting in the same position for over 40 hours.

Realising this sensitivity of rising incidents across the globe, World Health Organisation (WHO) also declared gaming addiction as an official mental health disorder. In total, 3.24 billion gamers worldwide were estimated in 2021, whereas more than 44.54 million video game players were estimated in the UK, and the number is still rising. 

What is Gaming Addiction?

Video game addiction or gaming addiction leads to reduced control over gaming habits. As a result, gamers face negative consequences in life, including self-care, school, relationships, and work. While video games affect children and teenagers, adults are most likely to get addicted to gaming. Also, not all gamers experience disorganisation or disturbance in their life, but many do.

Harmful Effects of Gaming Addiction

Aggressive Behaviour

Violent games could be one of the reasons that a person behaves aggressively. Playing video games full of action and war gives rise to a person’s aggressive thoughts, feelings, and behaviours. As a result, if something doesn’t happen according to a person’s plan, they may start feeling anxious and aggressive and display troublesome behaviour. Also, violent video games are harmful because they are more engaging and interactive and require the player to identify with the aggressor.

Poor Concentration

Being a gamer, you must be aware that it demands focus and concentration but little did you know that this concentration in a game prevents you from focusing on any other tasks. One of the prime symptoms of gaming addiction, pre-occupation, is a condition where you constantly think about games involuntarily and face difficulty focusing on more important things in life. For example, in 2021, around 30% of gamers in the UK skipped a shower to play games.

Health Issues

People who are addicted to gaming tend to be sitting in the same position for long hours, leading to health issues. The less they move, the more their body starts to suffer. The most common lifestyle diseases that may affect a person with irregular schedules include obesity, stiff joints, back pain, neck pain, muscle loss, and heart problems. Not only that, sitting in the same position and not getting out to socialise can disturb a person’s cognitive development and function. 

Sleep Disturbances

Adequate sleep is essential for any human being. And depending on age, experts advise everyone to sleep for about 7 to 9 hours daily. However, people with gaming addiction usually deprive of sleep. Playing video games for hours leads to less sleep or disturbed sleep, especially if you play late at night or with friends from different zones. This excessive gaming habit leads to sleep deprivation and adverse physical health effects. Also, sleep deprivation leads to impaired memory, relationship stress, work stress, and much more.

Poor Diet

When people get more engrossed in playing games, they are more likely to forget to eat, drink, and maintain a healthy lifestyle. The body needs essential nutrients to function, and when you fail to do that, you may experience a range of diseases. In addition, people with irregular food habits may experience headaches due to dehydration, leading to more profound health consequences, for example, celiac disease, liver dysfunction, irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, and in extreme cases, cancer.


How Do You Overcome It?

If you have finally started experiencing the effects or symptoms of gaming addiction and are looking for help, the best place to start is to acknowledge that you have a problem. Overcoming gaming addiction takes a lot of determination and time, but the reward is worthwhile. For starters, you can find alternative hobbies, spend more time with your family, be busy with work, and surround yourself with people. And if you still cannot see any results, rehabilitation clinics will always support you with game addiction help! The experts at the rehabilitation clinic will help you overcome your obsession with video games, and you’ll get your life back. Get expert help today!

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