What You Need To Know About Gaming
There are over 2.5 Billion people who play video games and they make up a market that produces nearly $90 Billion Dollars in revenue each year. With a potential customer base that large and that much money being spent, it’s no wonder why game developers invest so much time and resources to create new and innovative content for us to enjoy.
The goal of each game developer is to create something that goes “viral” and saturates the market world-wide. Few games ever reach that level but there is one thing that all video games have in common; they are engineered to be addictive. ( I know shocking right?) Yes game developers implement the same methods and tactics commonly used in casinos to create a gaming experience that will keep you playing their game as much as possible. They incoporate rewards, special items, and other things to keep you engaged and playing. The longer they can keep you playing the game, the more money they stand to make and they have gotten pretty good at making content that is really fun and highly addictive.
Today it is estimated that between 5 to 8% of gamers are addicted and in 2018 the World Health Organization added “Gaming Disorder” to its long list of diseases and health related problems. In an effort to identify some of the signs of video game addiction the American Psychiatric Association has identified nine warning signs to watch for. Although these can be helpful to better understand the severity of your own situation, it’s important to always seek the advice of a professional.
What Are The Signs Of Video Game Addiction?
Just like any addiction, those who suffer from a gaming disorder often exhibit compulsive or obsessive behaviors around gaming. If you, or someone you know, exhibits many or all of the behaviors listed below we encourage you to talk to someone about it and involve a professional if needed.
- Preoccupation with video games. The individual thinks about previous gaming activity or anticipates playing the next game; Gaming becomes the dominant activity in daily life.
- Withdrawal symptoms when gaming is taken away. These symptoms are typically described as irritability, anxiety, boredom, cravings, or sadness.
- Tolerance – the need to spend increasing amounts of time engaged in video games. This may be motivated by a need for completion of increasingly intricate, time-consuming, or difficult goals to achieve satisfaction and/or reduce fears of missing out.
- Unsuccessful attempts to control the participation in video games.
- Loss of interests in previous hobbies and entertainment as a result of, and with the exception of, video games.
- Continued excessive use of games despite knowledge of psychosocial problems. The individual continues to play despite negative impact.
- Has deceived family members, therapists, or others regarding their gaming.
- Use of video games to escape or relieve a negative mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety).
- Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, educational, or career opportunity because of participation in video games.
If any of these behaviors are things that you or someone you know engages in, you may want to check out a great source that we found to help individuals who are struggling with gaming addiction called gamequitters.com. Game Quitters has a comprehensive program for those seeking to improve their lives by removing a destructive gaming habit by finding ways to replace it. It’s a great place to start the road to recovery and will help you take the first steps to a better and happier life.
What You Need To Know About Gambling
Like it’s video game counterpart gambling addiction in adolescents and young adults is also on the rise. In a study conducted by the University of Buffalo in 2012 they estimated that nearly 750,000 people between the ages of 14-21 had a gambling addiction and 75% of college students reported that they had gambled that year. With online poker rooms, sports betting sites, and other games of chance so easily accessible online, it should come as no surprise that gambling problems are beginning at an earlier age than ever before.
What Are The Signs Of Gambling Addiction?
Gambling addiction can often be hard to detect and vary in severity. Mild to moderate cases may exhibit five or six of the behaviors listed below while someone with a severe addiction will likely exhibit all nine. Gambling disorder can affect your physical health, mental health, and social functioning, and lead to the loss of important relationships with friends and loved ones. You may also suffer a decline in work or school performance, and feel more restless and bored with all other areas of life that don’t involve gambling. Please read through the list and see if you, or a loved one, identifies with any or all of these behaviors.
- You feel compelled to keep gambling until you’ve spent your last dollar. You may keep bidding until you’ve spent everything to win your money back, or you continue increasing bet amounts.
- You hide your gambling from friends or family members. You may sneak off to gamble without telling anyone, or lie about your gambling activities.
- You spend money you don’t have on gambling. You may use money intended for important bills like rent, mortgage, car payments, credit card bills, and other expenses for gambling.
- You steal from others or sell your possessions so you can gamble. You may steal money or belongings from others so you can gamble, or sell or pawn valuable possessions like musical instruments and vehicles to obtain more gambling money.
- You prioritize gambling over obligations related to work, school, family. You may stop going to work or school so you can gamble, or stop buying household necessities so you can use the money for gambling instead.
- You’re experiencing financial hardships due to gambling. You may have lost your home, car, job, and important personal possessions due to gambling.
- You’re facing a range of negative emotions triggered by gambling. Gambling may be a serious problem in your life if it’s triggering depression, anxiety, frustration, agitation, and remorse.
- You want to stop gambling but can’t. You have tried to stop gambling but can’t seem to stop despite your desire to do better and to stop gambling.
list provided by addictions.com
If you, or someone you know, is struggling with a gambling addiction please seek out a competent mental health professional in your area. They will be able to provide you with the tools and support that is needed to overcome this destructive habit.