You enjoy to play as you are an avid gamer. Did you ever thought about its impacts on physical and mental health? Playing Video games has become a part of modern culture. Whatever age you may are in, you love to play games, Right? Everyone such as children, teenagers and adults have a special view to pass their time by playing. It is good to play to an extension of time like one or two hour a week. But it can become a massive addiction anytime with excessive playing and can harm health.a
Only in the United States, 99% of boys and 94% of girls spend at least an hour a day with playing. So, the video game industry got the revenue of $25 billion dollars in 2010 alone, where the Hollywood box office’s revenue was only $10.8 billion dollars for the U.S. and Canada. American Medical Association has not yet declared video games addiction as a diagnosable disorder. But this addiction brings out many physical and mental health risks.
There is an ongoing debate among the researchers about its effects on health. American Psychiatric Association (APA) proposed criteria for video game addiction in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorder, in May 2013. It wasn’t included in the official mental disorder for lacking evidences.
Causes, Symptoms, Physical and Mental Health Risks- Addiction of Playing Video Games:
Addiction of playing Video game is hypothesized. It happens due to excess use of computer or video games. It interferes in a person’s daily life. Today I will discuss all about video games addiction, its causes, symptoms and impacts on physical and mental health.
What is Video Game Addiction?
Actually, there is no universally agreed definition of video game addiction. There is no exact numbers of hours set to play games also. But most can prefer its definition to play excessive game which brings out negative outwards, social inactivity, relational failure, loss of interest in education and career. So, gamers devote their all energy and intelligence only to play game. In a meanwhile they spend most of their time before game console. Rather than spending time with family & friends, focusing on work, interpersonal relationship or school achievements, they just tend to be with their playing.
There are so many games to play on, whether it is Laptop, PC, TV, Xbox or Mobile. You can enjoy game in any modern devices. So, it become very easy to get addicted.
There are two types of major games addiction. One is for standard video games. These types of games are designed to play as a single player. They involve clear goal or mission. So, after a certain achievements, this type of game comes to an end.
The other video game addiction is related to online multiplayer games. These kinds of games are being played online by competing with other players around the world. People get addicted to multiplayer online games easily than other games. Actually, these games have no ending. So, gamers love to be an online character and they get addicted to creating their profile. Often they grow relationships with other player to secure an escape from the reality. Some gamers feel most accepted in that community.
What are the Video Games Addiction Signs?
Like other addiction, video games addiction show many warning signs of physical and mental health. So, it is very much important to know these symptoms if you or someone you care about is addicted to gaming badly.
There are some emotional symptoms that shows if you are really video game addicted.
- Feel restlessness or bad temper when unable to play.
- Getting departed from others to spend more time in playing.
- Lying to family members about the timing of gaming.
- Getting worry or anxious about the last time gaming activity or eagerness for the next gaming session.
- Feeling less interest in social activity.
- Failure in work or school activity. Sometimes, it brings out a broken relationship also.
Impacts of Video Games Addiction on Physical Health:
Along with mental threats you can also suffer from chronic headaches, sleep deprivation and many more. Sometimes you barely can feel how much your back hurts. There are some horror threats which is causing your health and leaving negative impacts on your life.
Many gamers sacrifice their sleep time for game. So, terms of sleep deprivation brings out other sleep related problems like Insomnia, sleep apnea, nocturnal myoclonus, parasmonia and narcolepsy. The fact you should know is sleep disturbances mostly caused by overstimulation of brain. In most cases chronic gamers can’t have a sound sleep as they tend to over think about their activities in online game.
Migraines headaches start basically for playing games hours and hours. It triggers out for focusing on the game only. It starts on one spot and gradually spread all over the head. In some extreme cases, people tend to vomit for excess pain. Light and noise increases this pain more.
Gamers sit for long hours in the same posture on a same place to reach the end of a game. Gradually, it creates backaches normally. The lack of movement of the body, it causes stiffness and soreness on the backbone. It actually get worsen into chronic back problems.
Arthritis and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:
Studies show that many years of playing video games prone to thumbs issues in the later years. Actually this area is horizontal with the osteoarthritis.
Carpal tunnel syndrome can occurr due to excess use of computer. It’s a general syndrome of gaming addiction. This happen when main nerve is squeezed or pressed between the forearm and hand. Overusing of a mouse or video control can cause irritation and swelling to the main wrist that houses main nerve and tendons.
Poor Personal Hygiene:
Gamers give less priority to their other personal work. An addicted is always going to overlook his personal hygiene. Like showers, face washing, brushing and cleaning the home becomes a less priority to him.
At the very first, gamers don’t feel the depression. But gradually their life becomes enslaved. They can only realize their depression they can’t think their life ahead of game and senses what their life has become.
Irregularities of Eating:
Gamers are so engaged to game. They simply don’t take their meal at time. So, gaming addiction causes them irregularities of eating. It leads them to unhealthy lifestyle. So, they are always in a hurry to choose foods items. They tend to eat readymade food from store or restaurants. In some extreme cases, the gamers will not bind to eat at all for the whole day.
Video game addicted will always pass his time sitting or lying only focusing on the game. Their lifestyle becomes so inactive. So, sleep deprivation and unhealthy eating habits make a good combination to lead them to stroke, hypertension and heart disease.
Video game addiction is very harmful for the health and well being. But there are also many studies show that video game has numerous positive effects. It develops motor skills and increase cognitive ability. It also helps to let out aggression through the gaming activity. So, the reality is playing video games is also healthy unless you play it in moderation. You can look for these above described signs and health risks in you or your dear ones, you really should take steps.
Sources: psychguides.com, cdn.psychologytoday.com, symptomfind.com & video-game-addiction.org