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Gaming Addiction Can Be Treated in Therapy

Gaming Addiction Can Be Treated in Therapy

Gamers have a lot of fun engaging in their hobby. It’s exciting when you have a skill you’re perfecting. Some people who game make money from gaming. There are many people who have YouTube channels where they record themselves gaming and get advertisers who pay to have ads on their videos. Regardless of whether you game for fun or it’s the way you make your living, it can go from a fun time to a legitimate addiction. In fact, the APA is in the process of adding gaming addiction to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). That’s because gaming, like any good thing, can develop into an addictive habit. Here are some signs that you could have a gaming addiction.

Gaming brain stimulation

When you’re gaming, it’s exciting for your brain. You meet tangible goals, level up, or get achievements in a game. Each time that happens, happy hormones such as dopamine and serotonin are released in your brain. These chemicals are the same ones that your mind releases when you engage in vigorous exercise. You may have heard people talk about a “runner’s high.” That’s the feeling when your brain is giving you happy hormones. As a gamer, you’ve learned that engaging in your game gives you positive feelings. You’ve trained your brain’s reward system to associate gaming with feeling good.

Irritability when you’re not gaming

One sure sign of a gaming addiction is when you feel restless or irritable when you’re away from your gaming console, tablet, phone or computer. Gaming provides you a release that you’re not getting. One reason that people get into gaming is because it feels good. If gaming is the only source of pleasure you get in a hobby, it’s painful to be away from it. Your mind is craving that dopamine and serotonin that it gets when you’re playing a game. Unfortunately, that’s not a healthy state to be in and it’s the sign that you have a gaming dependence or addiction. That’s why it’s crucial to be aware of how you feel when you’re away from your gaming device(s). If you’re miserable, it’s worth consulting a therapist.

Fixation on gaming

You may have a gaming addiction if all you can think about is playing your game, and it’s the only subject you want to discuss with people. Whether you are talking about gaming all the time or thinking about the next time you all game, that fixational is unhealthy. Another instance of a gaming addiction is when you are not being truthful about how much you game.

Lying about how much you play

One sign of a gaming addiction is lying about how much you play your game. Friends and family may be concerned about how much time you’re spending online, or on your video game console. When you are not being truthful about how much you game, it’s time to ask yourself why that is. You may be aware on some level that you have a gaming addiction. Denial will not lead to getting help. That’s why it’s crucial to face the fact that you’re addicted to gaming so you can get the help that you need.

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Talking to the therapist about gaming addiction

 If you’ve discovered you have a gaming addiction, you can get help. Try discussing your issue with a mental health professional. Whether you see someone online or in your local area, it’s possible to get the support you need. Read more about mental health issues on MyTherapist.

Your mental health matters. You can live a more fulfilling life if you are not addicted to gaming. But remember, it takes time to process your emotional issues and get the help that you need. Be patient with yourself and know that you are doing the right thing by seeing a therapist. Eventually you will overcome your addiction and start feeling better.