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19 Apr 2024, Edition - 3202, Friday

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Game addict? It’s time to consult a doctor



Gaming is considered as one of the greatest entertainment activity. We can see kids playing games in their android mobiles and how they are irritated when someone interrupts them.World Health Organisation now says if you find such things it is better to take some action on the issue as gaming addiction is now considered a mental disorder by the International Classification of Diseases.

“I’m not creating a precedent,” said Dr Vladimir Poznyak, a member of WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, which proposed the new diagnosis to WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly. Instead, he said, WHO has followed “the trends, the developments” which have taken place in populations and in the professional field.

Games are fun to play and for some people it helps in reducing stress. Even some psychologists consider gaming as a stress buster. But everything has a limit and overdoing will surely have a negative effect. When a kid spends a lot of his/her time in playing video games and fails to focus on other things then it is an addiction.

Poznyak said there are three major diagnostic features or characteristics of gaming disorder. “One is that the gaming behaviour takes precedence over other activities to the extent that other activities are taken to the periphery,” he said.

The second feature is “impaired control of these behaviors”, Poznyak said. “Even when the negative consequences occur, this behaviour continues or escalates.” A diagnosis of gaming disorder, then, means that a “persistent or recurrent” behaviour pattern of “sufficient severity” has emerged, according to the ICD.

A third feature is that the condition leads to significant distress and impairment in personal, family, social, educational or occupational functioning, Poznyak said. The impact is real, he said, and may include “disturbed sleep patterns, like diet problems, like a deficiency in the physical activity”.

Today, parents are giving their smartphones to their kids to keep them occupied. This is the primary mistake and we are helping them in developing an addiction. Usually kids use to play games when they are bored but then it becomes a habit. Not only kids, most of the gaming addicts are adults. They develop this habit of gaming from their childhood which makes them an addict.

A friend of mine is a victim to this addiction. He sits with his play station for more than 12 hours a day and only gives a break when he feels hungry, at times he even forgets to eat. When losing in a multiplayer battle he becomes so obsessed and will never talk to us until he wins the battle. The boy is so immersed in gaming and has no other interest in life.

Gaming addictions at times feel so strong, as we all know the effects of the “Blue whale game”. Many died by playing it. But not all the gamers are addicts, only some are getting obsessed with them and many play for fun.

People become obsessed with games because it gives them time to escape, a challenge in playing, a social connection to join with different players around the world. These things make the player more excited and keeps them occupied, said Viktor Frankl of gamequitters.com

Every addiction can be cured. So if any of you are feeling addicted to games then check these websites to find some ideas to quit gaming.





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