gaming addiction

Gaming addiction, a problem of new generations!

Since the internet and modern technological devices’ introduction, a massive increase in the welfare of mankind life was achieved. Games are considered an entertainment behavior since ages. However, with such modern technology it became -for some individuals- an escaping behavior from the boring daily routine, and a business for others. Every individual would like a certain game/s through his entire life which provides him with pleasure and satisfaction. However, when gaming alternates with the daily works or the educational process, it is so called problematic gaming or gaming addiction.

What is the prevalence of gaming addiction?

According to the data we find, the prevalence of gaming addiction varied from one study to another with the highest percentage reported in the Chinese adolescent gamers (17%) (1). While the lowest percentage was reported in Czech republic at which only 1% of the surveyed adolescents were diagnosed with internet gaming disorder 1% (2).

What is the most common device that gamed addicts use?

Many devices can be assessed for gaming including 

1-laptop

2-PC 

3-Consoles

 4-Tablets 

5-Smart phones

How much time that the addict spend for gaming during the week? 

gaming addiction
gaming addiction

Many game addicts spend at least 2 hours daily on their games. And this duration can be as high as 5 hours or more per day. This duration can be divided into one or two sessions per day. 

The duration would increase in the weekends rather than any other week days. 

Are there any gender differences for the gaming addiction? 

Males are commonly diagnosed with gaming addiction rather than females (3). This observation can vary from country to another according to the cultural, economic and demographic variations.

What are the common predictors of gaming addiction? 

1-Pyschological factors: loneliness, depression and some personality traits such as psychoticism 

2-Playing violence video games

3-Peer pressure (if they are gaming addicts)

4-Escaping from the real life in case of weak academic performance or social problems 

5-Aiming for more dopamine surge for the sense of gratification and achievement

6-Skill development 

Read also: gaming can be your bridge welfare

What are the effects of gaming addiction?

1-Social isolation where gaming addicts reported social jetlag 

2-Anxiety and sleep problems especially insomnia

3-Poor academic performance

4-Poor attention and memory

5-Poor problem solving and writing skills

I am gamming addict, what should I do? 

Do not worry fellow gamer, clinicians now have explored many interventions for treating game addiction. 

The first route of therapy is acknowledging the problem that gaming addiction interferes with your entire life either physically, mentally, economically,..etc. 

There are several methods for the treatment of gaming addiction:

1-Pharmacological therapy: 

To date, many therapeutic options were offered for the treatment of various psychological disorders. Yet, if you chose this type of therapy make sure that you will visit a psychiatrist for adjusting the dose and the drug of choice that fits your condition. 

A randomized clinical study that investigated the effect of Bupropion (a drug mainly involved in patients with the treatment of patients with substance dependence), reported an excellent reduction in the craving for internet video game play and total game play time in participants with video game addiction (4). 

2-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): 

As some clinicians consider gaming addiction is not equal to substance dependence, therefore the pharmacologic treatment could not be the first method of treatment.

In CBT, therapist will take the game addict into various sessions to identify the causes of the gaming addiction, try to solve them and provide certain strategies to prevent further gaming addiction. 

A meta-analysis of Mattew and colleagues indicated that CBT is effective in reducing gaming disorders symptoms as well as depression (5).

3-Group therapy:

A group discussion with gaming addicts for sharing common problems and thoughts regarding gaming addiction. This group will also give extra-motivation for the addict to start and finish the recovery process. 

The group therapy is primarily initiated by a psychiatrist.

Conclusion:

Gamming addiction is at an increased rate with the advances had been made in the internet and technology. Playing online or offline games is not forbidden. However, if you ever felt that gamming had a major effect upon your social, educational or even economic status, consider at least the advice of your family or people who you trust to prevent gamming addiction. Moreover, if you are diagnosed with gamming addiction, do not worry as there are many effective ways of treatment to get rid of such behavior.   

References:

  1. Liao Z, Huang Q, Huang S, Tan L, Shao T, Fang T, et al. Prevalence of internet gaming disorder and its association with personality traits and gaming characteristics among Chinese adolescent gamers. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 2020;11:598585.
  2. Kňažek G, Suchá J, Dolejš M, Pipová H. Prevalence of computer-gaming in the general population of adolescents: results from a Czech population-based survey. Behaviour & Information Technology. 2021;40(11):1169-76.
  3. Bonnaire C, Baptista D. Internet gaming disorder in male and female young adults: The role of alexithymia, depression, anxiety and gaming type. Psychiatry research. 2019;272:521-30.
  4. Han DH, Hwang JW, Renshaw PF. Bupropion sustained release treatment decreases craving for video games and cue-induced brain activity in patients with Internet video game addiction. Experimental and clinical psychopharmacology. 2010;18(4):297.
  5. Stevens MW, King DL, Dorstyn D, Delfabbro PH. Cognitive–behavioral therapy for Internet gaming disorder: A systematic review and meta‐analysis. Clinical psychology & psychotherapy. 2019;26(2):191-203.

 


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