How to Recognize and Overcome Video Game Addiction
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Video games occupy much of the lives of minors. At what moment they stop being a simple activity of fun to become a problem. Computers, consoles or cell phones, any device is valid for children, adolescents, and adults who are attracted to video games. However, the simple pastime can change into a problem when the user is able to put aside their studies or social and family life so as not to interrupt their game.
The essence of the games is to reward permanence and effort, giving rewards in a variable way. An own mechanism of -for example- the slot machines, that incites the compulsion and generates addiction in the most predisposed people. In laboratory tests with mice, when confronted with a lever that when released releases food in random quantities, the answer is the same: they use it compulsively.
Video games are not the exception. The scenarios they pose facilitate immersion in a fantasy world. The user identifies with situations and characters while disconnecting from reality, according to the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst doctor Pedro Horvath. "The music that is repeated in a loop and the sound effects contribute to the hypnotic effect," added the specialist.
The statistics of video game addicts reflect a higher prevalence of young males, between 10 and 35 years of age. In general, they suffer from difficulties in social integration and interaction. Although online games allow sharing and competing, the virtual world leads them to take more care and preserve the isolation.
The neurochemical and psychological response is equivalent to other types of behavior that end up transforming into addictions. "The pleasurable sensation by the release of dopamine in the brain and the reduction of anxiety before the possibility of playing are proven, both responses are present in all addictions.”
For the expert, there is a psychological profile of the addict himself: "Personal differences are evident in the choice of the game. Some, in which it is basically killing and killing, will find an environment conducive to the vehiculization of anxieties related to their difficulties in handling aggression. In games of strategy and construction of parallel worlds, the accumulation of wealth, magic tools or features prestigious reinforce personal defenses generating an illusory improvement of self - esteem. Of course, dissociative disorders, the Schizoid or autistic spectrum are at greater risk, "he said.
symptoms of video game addiction
In this sense, the specialist pointed out the importance of observing some specific signs and symptoms:
- Overcoming the 25-30 hours of weekly play.
- Irresistible need to play and/or intense emotional responses when this is not possible.
- The weakening of school or work performance due to the game.
- Marked expressions of anxiety or euphoria during the activity.
- The impoverishment of social ties and interests in general outside the game.
- Difficulties in sleeping or other changes in significant habits.
How to proceed in case of these situations? Horvat stressed that like all addiction, the game is only the visible part of the problem, and so prohibiting the use or hide the consoles does not solve the underlying issue.
"There is always an underlying personality to work on, and for that reason, millions of people play without problems and only a minority is addicted," he explained. And he concluded: "It is necessary to consult and think about the problem both from a personal and family perspective since the participation and support of the environment will be fundamental for the good evolution".
Tips to overcome
A suitable gaming setup is important to overcome the serious damaged caused by excessive gaming in front of a computer. A perfect gaming desk, chair, and other ergonomic accessories can reduces the problem. To prevent the use of video games affecting minors advice are: