Welcome back, parents! Today, we’re diving into yet another important topic about our children— Gaming addiction.
We all know how much our children enjoy playing video games. They provide an entertaining escape from the stress of everyday life, and can be a great way to bond and form interpersonal relationships with peers.
However, it’s important to keep an eye on how much time our kids spend gaming, as it can sometimes turn into an addiction!
In this article, we’ll be discussing 8 early signs of gaming addiction that parents should be aware of.
By being aware of these signs, you can help your child maintain a healthy relationship with gaming while also finding other activities that can bring them joy and fulfillment.
Let’s get started!
1. Decline in School or Work Performance
A struggling performance in academics can be a possible symptom of gaming addiction.
Gamers afflicted with such a condition tend to prioritize their gaming activities over their responsibilities; neglecting chores or school tasks is a contributing factor to poor performance in these areas.
2. Disinterest in Other Activities / Social Withdrawal
People who are addicted to video games may withdraw from social activities and interactions in favor of playing games alone. They may be less interested in spending time with friends and family, or may even cancel plans to stay home and play video games.
3. Mood Swings and Irritability
Regular gamers who are addicted to gaming often show aggressive behavior and exhibit anger and frustration when not playing the game. They’ll find themselves constantly thinking about their next gaming session, even when they’re not playing.
Prolonged exposure to video games can cause the brain to release endorphins, also known as the pleasure hormone. This creates a sense of euphoria that is similar to the feeling of reward from drugs or alcohol. Once the gamer stops playing, there is a drop in endorphins, which can cause mood swings, irritability, and anxiety, all outward symptoms of withdrawal.
4. Neglect of Personal Cleanliness, Hygiene and Health
It is also not uncommon for afflicted individuals to neglect basic self-care tasks such as showering, brushing their teeth, and eating nutritious meals. They’re often found with “little time” for themselves, leading to negative consequences on their physical and mental health.
Other common signs include a stockpile of dirty laundry, and a disorganized workspace clearly not conducive for study.
5. Loss of Sleep and Disrupted Sleep Patterns
Gamers may also stay up late into the night playing games, leading to fatigue and reduced alertness in the daytime. This can result in a lack of concentration and impaired memory, making it more challenging to complete tasks efficiently and effectively.
6. Lying About Time Spent Gaming and Hiding Game-Related Behavior
Gamers with an addiction are also more likely to deny or downplay the extent of their gaming behavior. They may feel ashamed of their excessive gaming and try to hide it from family and friends, leading to lying and deceitful behavior.
Habitual lying can also mean that they’re conscious about the amount of time they spend gaming and may be trying to avoid confrontation or consequences because of it.
How to Support a Loved One Struggling with Gaming Addiction
Gaming addiction is becoming increasingly common, and it can be a difficult situation for family and friends to navigate. If you have a loved one who is struggling with gaming addiction, there are several steps you can take to support them.
Firstly, it’s essential to approach the conversation with empathy and understanding. Listen to their concerns and try to understand their point of view without being judgmental.
The next step is to set boundaries and help your loved one establish healthy habits. You can encourage them to set limits on their gaming time and engage them in other activities such as exercise or socializing with friends.
You can also suggest seeking professional help if their addiction is severe.
Finally, it’s crucial to be patient and persistent in your efforts to support your loved one. Overcoming addiction is a challenging process, and it may take time and multiple attempts to see progress.
By taking these steps, you can play a vital role in helping your loved one rebalance their life with study and play, and lead a healthy, fulfilling life.
To read more about this topic, check out a few of our related articles below.