What is gaming disorder?
Gaming disorder is an unusual preoccupation with video games to the point where it impairs a person’s functioning. Many people like to play video games, but there is a difference between enjoying them recreationally and being addicted to them. Gaming disorder is present when a person prefers to play video games rather than experience their life. According to the WHO, here are the symptoms of gaming disorder:
- A pattern is present during one year where a person cannot control how much they are gaming
- During that time, the person places gaming over critical daily activities and interests.
- The gaming behavior escalated to the point where there are severe life consequences. For example, they are placing gaming over going to school or work, and these areas of their life suffer.
Gaming disorder is severe
Gaming disorder is a severe condition that can affect people’s lives. According to the American Psychological Association, over 160 million adults engage in gaming. However, people that have gaming disorder are a more limited amount of people. People who play video games range in ages. Children play video games in the age range goes all the way up to those who are over 50. It can be challenging to control a child or adolescent time playing video games. Some parents have set times that their children or adolescents can watch TV or play video games. Some people turn off the Wi-Fi at night so that their kids cannot continue to engage in gaming. For people with gaming disorder, they find ways around these safeguards. They will do anything and go to any links to continue to game. A person with gaming disorder has a quality-of-life that suffers because they are preoccupied with video games.
Is it a disorder?
According to the WHO (World Health Organization), Gaming disorder is featured in the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The condition affects individuals to the point where their gaming behavior impairs their lives. They spend more time online gaming or playing digital games than they do interact with friends and family in person. Their daily activities are limited to things involving gaming, and as a result, their life suffers negative consequences. Yes, gaming disorder is real. It affects individuals and their families and makes it difficult for people to enjoy a fulfilling life. When you are preoccupied with gaming, you may avoid interacting with others or socializing outside the home. Gaming disorder could negatively impact a person’s social skills and personal life. It’s upsetting to think that gaming disorder could be so destructive to people and their families. So, is there a treatment for the condition?
What is the treatment for gaming disorder?
Gaming disorder is a severe condition, but there is help available. There are several components to treating a person with gaming disorder. They will learn about how their gaming behaviors affect their mental health poorly. Once they understand that, then they can be motivated to change them.
Education: Before getting treatment, it’s essential to understand the disorder. Educate the person about their condition – psychoeducation means teaching a person about how gaming negatively impacts their mental health.
Interpersonal skills: Individuals will learn how their gaming behavior impacts their interpersonal relationships, and they will work on exploring how to connect with others and develop excellent communication skills.
Intrapersonal work: People who have gaming disorder will explore their identities and work on building positive self-esteem and understanding where the addictive behavior comes from so they can heal and be more productive in life.
Family therapy: In many cases, family therapy is recommended to those who have that gaming disorder. It’s a family issue because the person who has the addiction is impacting others around them. Family therapy can support people and understanding their loved one’s condition and working with them during recovery.
If you or someone you love suffers from gaming disorder, there is support available. You can seek the help of a therapist who understands addictive behavior. Whether you work with a mental health professional online or in your local area, you can get the support you need and start addressing the gaming addiction.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.