Heather Fisher Professional Drug & Alcohol Interventionist

Video Game Addiction

Playing video games has been a hobby of many people for the past 50 years now. It is often a way for individuals to have fun, relax and even connect with others. Because technology is ever-growing and changing and video games are relatively new, there is not a ton of scientific evidence that has been gathered on the long-term effects of video gameplay. With that said, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders created by the American Psychiatric Association does include a section to help people and doctors know the warning signs of problem video gaming. In addition, the World Health Organization assed “gaming disorder” to the 2018 version of its medical reference book, International Classification of Diseases.

Video Game Addiction Screening

Adapted from Greenfield Video Game Addiction Test (GVGAT)
Responses should be based on behavior over the past 90 days

NOTE: Addiction is progressive, chronic and 100% recoverable when treated.

Disclaimer: This screening is not designed to make a diagnosis or take the place of a professional diagnosis
consultation. Use this brief screening tool to help determine if further action is recommended.
For help in selecting the proper level of treatment in your area please contact our office.

Signs that Gaming is becoming a problem

If you think you know someone who may be struggling with a video game addiction, listed below are the criteria proposed in the DSM-5. Individuals must have struggled with five or more of these signs in the past year:

  • Thinking and talking about gaming a lot or most of the time
  • Feeling sad or depressed when you cannot play.
  • Needing to increase playing time to feel good.
  • Not being able to quit or play less.
  • Not wanting to do other activities you used to like.
  • Having problems with daily functioning, work, or school because of the need to be gaming
  • Playing video games to calm bad moods and distract from other feelings and emotions.
  • Lying at playing or how much time is spent playing.

As well as dependence on gaming for emotional wellness, the following have been found to be harmful effects of video gaming in excess also:

  • Increased aggressive thoughts and behaviors.
  • Increased risk of light-induced seizures
  • Reduced ability to function and cooperate in social settings.

Research shows that those who are addicted to gaming have more issues with mental health and cognitive functioning abilities. They may lack impulse control compared to those who are not struggling with any kind of behavioral addiction.

People with process addictions also have increased emotional regulation difficulties and are at high risk for experiencing depression and anxiety. Individuals with gaming addictions after reporting social distance and isolation in most sectors of their life.

Excessive video gameplay is often used as an escape from reality. Video games offer endless fantasy and fun and the opportunity for individuals to live in a completely different world and function as a different person. Like other addictions, video gameplay can become an unhealthy coping mechanism to help individuals escape the discomfort and symptoms of deeper, underlying conditions.

Treatment for Video Game Addiction

If someone you know is struggling with a video game addiction, it can be challenging to know what to do. It may be beneficial for you to contact an interventionist or other local treatment provider to have the individual’s symptoms assessed and develop a treatment plan that works best for your loved one and the family’s needs. There are inpatient and outpatient treatments available for both adults and adolescents. If you would like more information on resources near you, call heather Fisher Recovery Services today.