Were you a victim who suffered from a video game addiction? Because I am. Catching this addiction at an early stage can easily be prevented or corrected; on the other hand, not realizing that this addiction is dominating your life is something that should not be ignored. Denial constantly being by my side, I had to overcome a rigorous challenge, but this adversity was not impossible to conquer. I did not control the beast properly; therefore, resulted in the addiction continuing to thrive within, which changed the course to worsen my life.
As the addiction progressed, family members noticed strange peculiarities appearing and became overwhelmingly concerned. Due to impulse control disorder, the symptoms were announced. Knowing I have what it takes to triumph over the addiction, any motivation inside me needs to prevail through this addiction: preoccupation, deception, and risk.
My impulse control disorder was the failure to resist a temptation or urge to continually playing video games. My inability to control myself led to an extreme preoccupation with playing video games continually; along with ignoring the other factors in my life including my schoolwork, family, and friends.
My preoccupation with videogames started at a young age, as I was introduced to video games and started playing the most popular games at the time, including, Call of Duty. I was engrossed with the action and ability to control every action that appeared on screen, and since it was my initial introduction to this phenomenon, I did not know what else to do.
I became obsessed with the entertainment, and considered it an art form. I did not know how to stop playing the games, and I did not notice how fast time passed by as I lost sleep playing videogames, along with ignoring calls to eat, my homework, and my friends and family.
The American Psychiatric Association had proposed that video game disorder can be classified when a child feels preoccupation, or spends an excessive amount of time thinking about games, even when not playing them. When a child has a withdrawal, or feels restless when they are unable to play games; and they give up other recreational activities to play video games; the child is supposedly suffering psychologically, and uses video games as a way to escape from everything (Gray). Around 5% of children are “addicted” to video games, and have felt this same preoccupation as I have felt. Parents can recognize preoccupation and addiction to video games if children neglect other people, chores, and schoolwork to play video games; or if they lie about time spent playing video games. Parents need to recognize their children’s social isolation and anger problems if they are linked with video games, and need to deal with them slowly according to Tech Addiction, as many children use video games as a coping mechanism for real world problems they are facing (Conrad).
The deception of video games is very extreme. Once I got hooked onto video games, I did not know what else to do. Many people believe that addiction to entertainment or video games is not a real addiction like addiction to drugs or alcohol, but the allure of video games is very real. The deception of it is that you think you are only going to play for a few hours, but then you do not want to stop playing, which leads to more and more hours of playing until you are forced to stop. I have tried to escape this deception and allure of video games, and I dearly hope nobody else gets hooked onto the allure of video games.
Psychology Today also found that deception is a very key factor to identifying video game addiction, if a child lies about how much he or she games. They found in a study that children, regardless of any other factors, turn to video games and get addicted to them if they are more anxious and depressed (Gray). Video games are a form of escape for many people, and as I realized my addiction was problematic, I tried to ignore the urge to play them along with trying to interact with more people in real life. I tried to escape the anxious state I was in and tried to ignore the deception of video games.
The risk of video game addiction is extremely high, as you can risk losing connections with family and friends, lose sleep and weight, along with insulting people you care about by ignoring them and just continuing to play video games. As I look back to my video game addiction, I am extremely happy that I escaped it. Psychology Today states that the risk of video game addiction is losing money, and risking the loss of significant relationships and employment because you were too busy playing games. Other risks are losing time to do schoolwork, meaning lower grades.
Along with lower grades, risks include poor effort in school; social, emotional, and behavioral problems; along with irregular sleep habits, poor eating habits, social isolation, loss of friends, anger or physical aggression, social phobia, depression, and anxiety (Gray). According to Tech Addiction, men are more likely to get “addicted” to video games than females. Along with this factor, children with low self-esteem, emotional problems, lower social competence, and higher social problems get addicted to video games more (Conrad). Physical risks I noticed when I was addicted to video games, include a faster heart rate and higher blood pressure. Psychology Today states when kids play video games, dopamine goes to their brains, which excites and elevates their mood. This leads to the flow of blood and the visual motor functions in the brain lighting up.
If a child is addicted to video games, parents taking them away will lead to anger, yelling, and even physical violence like punching walls and throwing things. Psychology Today states that this addiction will cause chronic stress and playing video games too often will not allow the nervous system to physically discharge. Once chronic stress sets in, blood flow is directed away from the higher thinking part of the brain (the frontal lobe) and toward the more primitive, deeper areas necessary for survival, causing impairment in functioning. With children, whose nervous systems are still developing, this sequence of events occurs much faster than it does for adults, and the chronically stressed child soon starts to struggle.
Because chronic stress effectively ‘short circuits’ the frontal lobe, a hyper-aroused and mentally depleted child will have trouble paying attention, managing emotions, suppressing impulses, following directions, tolerating frustration, accessing creativity and compassion, and executing tasks. All of these effects are compounded by screen-time disrupting the body clock and hindering deep sleep. In fact, the effects on sleep alone can explain many of the mood, cognitive and behavior issues associated with screens, and also explain how screen effects can build over time, making them easy to miss (Dunckley).
Video game addiction is a very serious problem that can be misidentified or ignored by both peers and parents. Parents must identify the addiction in their children by noticing factors such as anger, yelling, social isolation, depression, anxiety, and loss of activity. Children must also self-identify their problems and video game addiction, and should try to stop their preoccupation with video games. Children must realize the deception of video games are that when you are having fun, time flies by, and video games can get you addicted so bad that you do not want to stop playing them. Parents and children must realize the risks of video game addiction, along with the physical and psychological harms that come with it along with loss of sleep, weight, and effectiveness. As children use video games as a coping mechanism for things like depression, anxiety, and social isolation; parents and children themselves must try to fix these factors in order to better their health and life.