Hobby or Disorder: When Does Gaming Become a Problem?

Last Updated: November 10, 2022

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It might just be a game, but some people find that their gaming moves from an activity that happens occasionally to an activity that they want to do all of the time. How do you know if you or any of your loved ones have a gaming disorder? Know the signs and symptoms so that you can help prevent and recover from problem gaming.

What is Gaming Disorder?

While video and computer games are ubiquitous, not everyone finds that they trigger addiction. However, some people can develop “problematic digital or video game behavior,” according to Psychology Today. Gaming disorders impact a small number of gamers, and the diagnosis is one that needs to be made by a professional. However, you can look for the signs of disordered gaming if you are concerned.

What Are the Signs of a Gaming Disorder?

What separates those who game a lot from those who have a problem with gaming? Here is what a gaming addiction looks like:

  • The individual cannot control the amount of time spent on gaming.
  • Gaming is a priority. Schoolwork, work, and other daily activities become less important in the person’s mind.
  • Gaming is a focus of the individual’s life. Other activities fall by the wayside as gaming dominates.
  • The person involved forgets about the basic aspects of life, such as nutrition and sleep. Gaming seems to be more important.
  • The individual does not stop gaming even when there are negative consequences due to the activity.

What to Do If You Have a Gaming Disorder

Gaming disorder is a new addition to the medical list of addictions. It is somewhat controversial, as some people think that internet addiction as a whole should be on the list, but gaming should not. Since it is such a new phenomenon, gaming disorder does not have a list of evidence-based treatments yet. The WHO added gaming disorder to “reflect a consensus of experts from different disciplines and geographical regions that were involved in the process of technical consultations undertaken by WHO in the process of ICD-11 development.” They hope that adding it to the list of addictions and mental health challenges will draw more attention to problematic gaming and lead to potential solutions as well.

However, mental health challenges such as a gaming addiction can be a problem by themselves or can be a difficulty that you need to manage in your overall recovery from other problems such as substance use disorder. The physical health issues and social isolation that come with a gaming addiction can impact your life and the life of your family.  Addiction is a challenge no matter to what form it takes. Working with a recovery center such as The Recovery Village can help support positive behavior changes so that you can move into the future with confidence.

At The Recovery Village Columbus, we want to help you live a life of sobriety. Addiction comes in many forms, and we can help you move into recovery. Talk with us about Ohio addiction treatment resources, and if you are struggling with substance use disorder along with other addictions, learn about admission today.

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When you call our team, you will speak to a Recovery Advocate who will answer any questions and perform a pre-assessment to determine your eligibility for treatment. If eligible, we will create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. If The Recovery Village is not the right fit for you or your loved one, we will help refer you to a facility that is. All calls are 100% free and confidential.

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