Most mothers seem to struggle with their teens to have them follow a regular routine where there is no gaming. These teens skip their homework and even food to stay glued to their video game stations. Thus, gaming addiction among children and teenagers has become a real issue. Some teens play videos game and balance school and other activities, but the majority of them start to neglect family, school, and even friends. At this level, it is an addiction to gaming.
So how can we determine if you are addicted to gaming or you just like it? The best way to answer this question is to focus on some core themes in addiction: withdrawal, neglect of responsibility, tolerance, and problems with relationships.
- If you cannot play games for an extended period of time, do you feel anxious, uneasy, or depressed?
- Do you procrastinate excessively (everyone procrastinates a little, but not for days or weeks at a time) because you are playing games?
- Do you need to play for longer and longer sessions to feel satisfied?
- Has anybody in your family, your partner, or your friends commented that you are spending too long gaming?
If you have answered yes to these abovementioned questions (at least a couple of them), you could be struggling with some form of gaming addiction or be at risk for it in the near future. Surprisingly, gaming has many positive cognitive, social, and emotional effects, but if your life is starting to revolve around gaming or it is occupying your thoughts more and more, you may be developing a problem.
You do not necessarily have to give up gaming altogether (in the same way you could still go shopping occasionally if you are a compulsive shopper or you would still need to eat if you had a food addiction), but as with any addiction, getting counseling to help you regain control of your life is essential.
Until we have a greater understanding of what separates enthusiastic gamers from “problem” or addicted gamers, much of the diagnoses have to be made on more general grounds. This means that if you think you have an issue with gaming—if you are having real-world problems because of it and answered yes to many of the questions above—it is best to get help. Just because it is poorly defined does not mean it does not exist, and it definitely does not mean you can ignore it.
Researchers report that the percentage of pathological teen gamers very closely matches among all countries, according to multiple studies. They also identify whether some types of children are at greater risk, the length of time that the problem will last and whether pathological gaming is a separate problem or a symptom of another problem, such as depression.
It can be hard to pull a teen away from the video game, but parents may want to invest more effort in doing so, thanks to the findings of many research. Based on thorough analysis, the researchers suggest that video game addiction is in fact a serious behavioral problem and one that is separate from other afflictions and therefore should be addressed as such.