Compulsive gaming and internet addiction is recognized as an uncontrollable urge to keep engaging in a video game and /or on-line activity despite the consequences it creates in your life. Compulsive gaming and internet addiction has the potential to stimulate the reward system of the brain similar to the use of drugs and alcohol. The compulsive gamer and internet addict continually attempts to achieve a potentially unattainable victory, “high score,” or escape for hours in a conflict-free virtual world while attempting to cover up and hide behaviors.
The following are some of the most common signs and symptoms of compulsive gaming and internet addiction:
- • Experiencing a “high” from achieving a victory, new “high score,” or anonymously interacting on-line with another.”
- • An overall preoccupation with gaming and on-line activity which leads to an impairment of social, work, and family responsibilities.
- • Using gaming and on-line activities in a self-medicating manner as a way to cope with underlying personal issues.
- • Lying about gaming and on-line activity, while attempting to conceal whereabouts in an effort to “cover-up” gaming activities.
- • Experiencing feelings of irritability, fatigue, and anxiety due to episodes of prolonged on-line activity and game play.
- • Recurrent unsuccessful efforts to cut back on gaming and other on-line activities.
Compulsive gaming and internet addiction generally progresses over a period of time. Although many people may have the ability to enjoy social and recreational gaming and internet use, the compulsive gamer and internet addict may find themselves gaming and /or on-line during periods of stress or depression, experiencing an uncontrollable urge to gaming and engage in on-line activities. The compulsive gamer appears to become “intoxicated” by the excitement derived from the gaming experience.
If you or a loved one is suffering with symptoms of compulsive gaming or internet addiction, you are encouraged to reach out to one of our caring and knowledgeable Careplanpro counselors 24/7 for a complimentary, caring, and confidential consultation at 800-787-1721.