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Impact of Gaming Addiction on Mental Health

Impact of Gaming Addiction on Mental Health
1 Year Ago 61 Reads 9 min read
Sripriya V Child Behaviour 27 May 2020

Video games are not only for children, yes, but you have also read it right. Gaming is not child's play. Online gaming enthusiasts are mostly youngsters. Different cravings are seen among the youth regarding games. However, games on mobile have now become an addiction for the youth, which is also affecting their health.

Now I am going to tell you about gaming addiction.

Gaming Addiction 

Gaming Addiction 

COVID 19 has established the fact that the virus is impartial in demography and geography and the fact that it is at a great level. The havoc, it has wrought, has not only created an impact on children's mental health but has accounted for some of their lives too. It is a well-known fact that an idle mind is the devil's workshop. This invisible yet potent organism has rendered us homebound and the kids are facing an acute challenge of being idle with nothing much to do for most of the day. With the proliferation of online games like PUBG and its easy to access, kids are spoilt for choices and more ominously, they are fascinated and addicted to it. 

Part of the blame should fall on the parents, who are perennially busy with work from home and finding faults but what is the fault of children in all these. Parents get busy in their office or household work, and they give cell phones to their children so they will not disturb them.

In the technological world, where there is an unending boom in AI and gaming, it is inevitable not to be part of it. It can be a great source of entertainment and a mood relaxant with limited and appropriate use. 

It also can enhance one’s problem-solving skills. As parents are considered to be the first teacher, learning becomes fun when their parents help them. To enhance the child’s innate ability and guiding them through multiple forms of activities available in the e-world, a responsible parent would do well to help a child with limited exposure but some parents of this generation have messed up the lives of their children. 

They know the consequences of playing video games but still, parents do this blunder.

In an ideal scenario, this phase should have been the opportunity for the parents to strengthen their bond with their wards through better communication and a chance to shape the kid's present and future with their warmth and affection. They could have exposed the kids to various forms of activities that help in their overall development like physical, social, emotional, cognitive, and moral development. 

Parents can help their children to learn different activities like- cooking, painting, any sport of their choice, solving different puzzles, improving their reading and communication skills but sadly, most of the parents have missed the bus.

Signs/ Symptoms of Gaming Addiction:

According to the World Health Organization, A few days after playing the game, such disorders start appearing, which has a lot of effect on your health.

Any young person, child or old, who once became an addict of video games, then it will be very difficult to get rid of his game addiction. Some such problems like depression, stress, anxiety, sleeping disorders and obesity can be the victims of all these.

Due to game addiction, that person likes to be more alone, even if he is sitting between family or friends, he does not make any sense to them, he is focused on mobile gaming. It becomes very difficult to get rid of this bad game addiction.

Cause for gaming addiction

Cause for gaming addiction

Addiction to anything happens when it starts being used excessively and when without it something seems incomplete in life. 

Like the additions of tea and coffee, now people are also getting an addiction to games. From getting up in the morning to sleeping at night, they have started living in the captivity of phones or laptops. While doing some work, many people are seen playing games even during a break. Such people are so lost in their games world that they do not remember their stop or other important work on the bus and train. This situation can be very stressful if not controlled in time.

Recent studies indicate that loneliness is one of the fundamental grounds for online gaming addiction. The games are designed in such a way that it proves challenging for the kids thinking faculty, but tantalizingly simple that the kid is forced to keep coming back for more.

Impact of gaming addiction on mental health

The games have consumed a lion's share of the kids' time that the child decides to prioritize the same and forgo the other daily activities and interests. Academic performance is also strongly correlated with gaming disorder. 

They put it mildly, these games can afflict a child with various side effects - excessive violence and aggressive behavior; less social interaction leading to social anxiety; insomnia; the dearth of time to perform mundane activities increases the risk of neuropsychiatric illness. Suffice to say, it compromises a child’s mental health.

Consequences of gaming addiction

Consequences of gaming addiction

Gaming addiction poised to spread during the pandemic lockdown. Mental health professionals are seeing a spike in video game addicted patients. 

The below case studies will provide a broader perspective on the adverse effects of gaming. In Jan 2020, Mr Harshal Menane a 25-year old, in his prime of youth fatally suffered a brain stroke while playing PUBG. The cause of death, According to the physician, was Intracerebral hemorrhaging as it has induced a high level of excitement while playing the battle royal game. Harshal is no more now but he and his whole family are responsible for his untimely demise.

In March 2020, a 22 years old man in Bihar was admitted for treatment after showing violent behavior with his family and close relatives. The man's father revealed that he was addicted to PUBG and had been upset after losing the game over the last three consecutive days. Here is another case, In April 2020, A 13 years old boy in Patiala city of state Punjab, has committed suicide after his parents stopped him from playing mobile games.

In a newspaper, published by the International Journal of Health and Addiction, seven researchers from six universities tried the new test with more than 550 gamers in the U.K. and China. Of those, 36 participants (6.4 per cent,) met the WHO's diagnostic criteria for gaming disorder. It is the highest study till this date on the condition. According to Statista.com, the market value of the gaming industry in India was around 62 billion in 2019. 

According to a KPMG report, the number of gamers in India is estimated at 300 million. This number is so high and is continuously increasing.

Safety measures for gaming addiction

In the current scenario and for future generations, constructive use of the internet is advisable, but the exposure can be reduced for the kids. 

As they say, A stitch in time saves nine, and as a responsible parent, you must play a major role to practice safe browsing. Some of the safety measures are:

1. Passwords: If certain websites or apps are promoting unhealthy habits and if a parent is forced to use the same for some specific purpose, the website has to be password protected. The password should be very strong.

2. Cyberbullying Awareness: Parents should make their kids aware of the term Cyberbullying.

3. Limitations: Parents should prescribe a time limit for internet usage.

If you are also the parent of a child who is addicted to games on the internet. We must understand this thing that like smoking and drinking, gaming is also an addiction. Don't ignore the fact that your child is spending his precious time playing video games; this will affect his eyes, physical health, and most importantly mental health. 

Parents must notice what their child is doing on his cell phone or laptop. You should start spending quality time with your children. If you need any help regarding this, feel free to connect your expert Parenting and Child Behaviour Experts to help you out with more and more preventive and safety measures.

Treatment of Gaming Addiction:

It is very important to avoid this kind of addiction, otherwise, it can affect your personal life as well. Continually ignoring work or relationships is not beneficial for your future.

Increase interaction with people as much as possible. For this, keep organizing parties, etc. on various occasions. Take time out for your family and friends.

Set a time limit for your actions and follow them seriously.

To increase concentration, take some time to break between essential and brain functions. If possible, at least use phones and laptops in these breaks.

Do not allow children to use mobiles, laptops, and the internet more and keep an eye on them.

If you are not able to stay away from these digital games despite all the efforts, then do not hesitate to seek the help of a psychological consultant.

Final Words: 

At last, I am going to say that not every game is addictive. Some surveys have revealed that puzzles, quizzes, photo editing apps, dating apps, chatting apps, shopping apps, and multiplayer games are highly addictive. I hope You will understand my words and If even after reading this article, if you are still a victim of playing games, then it is dangerous for you and your health only, so it would be better that you leave them all and concentrate on your work or studies.

MY FIT BRAIN with the team of counselors is providing online counseling services, making it easier for their clients, to seek a solution to the problem they are facing in their life.

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