Computer Game Addiction, Side Effects and Treatment


Computer game addiction is a serious condition that can have negative consequences on a person’s life. People who are addicted to computer games may isolate themselves from friends and family, neglect their school or work obligations, and suffer from physical health problems as a result of their addiction.

There are many signs that someone may be addicted to computer games. They may spend hours each day playing games, become agitated or defensive when questioned about their gaming habits, and withdraw from activities they used to enjoy in order to spend more time playing games.

Computer game addiction may have a negative impact on a person’s physical health, social relationships, and academic or professional life. In addition to being at risk for these consequences of computer game addiction, most people who are addicted to games also suffer from other addictions or psychological disorders that require treatment.

Computer Game Addiction Side Effects

A car driving down a street

People that are addicted to computer games often show signs that they need help. When someone spends an excessive amount of time playing computer games it can have negative consequences on their life in the following ways:

Computer game addicts often neglect their physical well-being as part of their addiction. They may sleep irregular hours because they want to play more games, spoil healthy meals by choosing junk food over nutritious choices, and ignore medical problems that are the result of their addiction.

Computer game addicts tend to suffer from fatigue due to irregular sleeping habits. Irregular sleep cycles caused by gaming can lead to insomnia and other sleep disorders that make it difficult to get enough rest. Sleep deprivation makes people tired, irritable, and unable to concentrate on important tasks such as school or work.

Health Problems

A close up of a plate of food and glasses of wine

Some computer game addicts may experience health problems because of their addiction. There is a link between obesity and excessive video game playing. The sedentary lifestyle associated with gaming can cause weight gain and related medical conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. In addition, carpal tunnel syndrome and other repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) can develop from playing computer games for long periods of time. RSIs are caused by an unnatural bending or extending of a part of the body, which can lead to pain and swelling.

Social Problems

Computer game addicts often have social problems as a result of their addiction. They may spend so much time playing games that they neglect obligations such as school, work, and family responsibilities. In addition, computer game addicts often withdraw from their friends and family in order to play games alone, making it difficult for people close to them to connect with them on a meaningful level. Academic Problems Excessive gaming can lead to poor academic performance. People who are addicted may fail classes or lose interest in subjects they used to enjoy because they want to spend more time playing games rather than studying. In some cases, computer game addiction can lead to cheating and plagiarism

Professional Problems

Computer game addicts may also have professional problems because of their addiction. They may be fired from jobs due to poor work performance, miss important career opportunities because they are unable to focus on their work, or get in legal trouble for playing games instead of working.

Treatment for Computer Game Addiction

The best way to treat computer game addiction is with a combination of therapies that address the individual’s physical, social, and academic/professional problems. Treatment may include individual therapy, family therapy, group therapy, and/or medication. Some people also need to attend a rehabilitation program that specializes in treating computer game addiction.

Computer Game Treatment Programs Computer game addiction treatment programs are based on cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT). These types of programs are designed to identify the thought and behaviour patterns that lead to addiction in order to change them. Most computer game addiction treatment programs focus on helping addicts learn how to manage their time more effectively in order to avoid overusing games as distractions from other responsibilities. Many also include inpatient or residential care for people who need intensive therapy during the withdrawal process.

Addiction Resources for Parents

If your child is addicted to video games, there are resources that you can use to find help. You can consult with a doctor about possible medical dangers associated with computer game addiction, and you can also find counselling and treatment programs for your child. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has a website that provides information on drug addiction and computer game addiction specifically.

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