Gaming Disorder: The Game Plays You

It’s all fun and games until it isn’t, until it is more than just having fun through games.

Getting addicted to gaming may seem like just an exaggerated expression for many; however gaming disorder is real. This disorder has been officially recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO), and it more common than most people expect. But first, it is important to understand,

Gaming Disorder a disease - signs and symptoms, treatment or remedy

What is gaming disorder?

Gaming disorder is defined as a sequence of gaming performance distinguished by reduced handling over gaming, giving more importance to gaming over other actions and events to the level of making gaming the top priority over other activities despite knowing and experiencing its negative costs.

How can someone be addicted to gaming?

It has two common causes: 1) the programmers of these games make it a point to do so. They build the game having the idea in mind that it should be difficult enough to make you want to come back for more or make you want to be better at it each time you play; and 2) it can be linked to other mental health conditions such as depression, bipolar episodes, etc. gaming is used as some form of escape.

What are its signs and symptoms?

here are quite a number of signs and symptoms that can be identified. There are signs that can be seen through both physical and emotional aspect.
  • One experiences extreme irritation when unable to play
  • Anticipating and having continuous thoughts of when the next time one can play again
  • Fatigue due to lack of sleep or lack of intake of food
  • Headaches, or even in some cases migraines, because of eye strain
  • Not telling the truth about the gaming time one spends to family and/or friends
  • Extreme loss or gaining of weight, either from spending all money on gaming or not having enough physical activity and just being a couch potato

Here's an infographic about the Symptoms of Gaming Disorder.
Internet Gaming Disorder Symptoms Infographic
Gaming Disorder Symptoms Infographic

How does gaming disorder affect a person’s life?

It’s negative consequences is quite a list. Even if the symptoms may not be seen as severe or extreme, collectively, it brings long term drastic effects. For example: one might choose to completely isolate himself from his family or friends, choosing gaming over any form of human interaction. Health problems such as underweight or overweight, insomnia, eye problems, or depression might also result from gaming disorder.

Are there ways to treat gaming disorder?

Luckily, yes. It is important to go to a licensed physician and psychologist in order to get the right medications. These medications can help someone control the physical symptoms such as not wanting to sleep, not wanting to eat, etc. Regular consultations with a psychologist can also help create mental exercises for you. And of course, the most important method is to look for support from friends and family. Asking your friends and family to help you look for other outlets of “fun” will give you a new perspective, so that it can keep you busy, and they can also keep an eye on you.