Online gaming isn’t new but as new gaming sites are released, the number of gamers soars. Online games allow users to play individually or with others and even use chat options. The more users play online, the more they begin to neglect more important things. That’s why this activity can turn into a gaming addiction.
Signs of Addiction
• Unable to stop the activity
• Neglecting family and friends
• Avoiding or forgetting social engagements
• Poor personal hygiene
• Problems at work or school
• Showing signs of carpal tunnel
• Disturbed sleep or sleep patterns
• Irritability, depression, and loss of focus when away from the computer
• Craving for more games and more time on the computer
Online gaming addictions are triggered in those individuals who feel the need to substitute real-life human connections, which they normally cannot achieve, with online gaming. Addiction is an increased risk for those suffering from mental illnesses and social awkwardness.
Some individuals use gaming to obtain fulfillment; they may have low self-esteem, few personal relationships, and be discontented with life. Others become so involved in the game that nothing else matters. They are unaware of their surroundings as they enjoy playing and have fun while they do it.
Like other addictions, gaming addiction can be harmful and even dangerous to a person’s well-being as their relationships deteriorate, priorities are neglected, and other psychological disorders come to the surface. Those with psychological disorders who play these games are more likely to become clinically depressed and even commit suicide. It can also be harmful financially, as people drain their savings and max out their prepaid credit cards to pay for their habit.
Where to Find Help
With addiction becoming an epidemic, the apparent threat of game addiction has caused the U.S. and other countries to open treatment centers. There are also sites including Online Gamers Anonymous that offer forums where those with addictions can seek help and connect with other anonymous addicted gamers.
The best way to prevent gaming addictions is to monitor your playing habits and limit your time online.