Gaming Addiction

Video game addiction, also known as internet gaming disorder, is marked by a significant loss of control over gaming behaviors, leading to detrimental consequences in various aspects of one’s daily life, encompassing personal, social, educational, and occupational obligations.

What is Gaming Addiction?

Video game addiction, also known as internet gaming disorder, is a condition characterized by a significant loss of control over gaming behaviors, resulting in adverse repercussions across various aspects of one’s life, including self-care, relationships, academic, and professional pursuits.


This condition encompasses gaming activities on the internet or any electronic device, although the majority of individuals who develop significant gaming-related problems tend to primarily engage in online gaming.


Debates persist among researchers about whether internet and video gaming addiction should be classified as an addiction or a mental illness. While some liken video game addiction to behavioral addictions like gambling disorder, where the thrill of winning plays a central role, others argue that this comparison may not be entirely apt. Unlike gambling, video games may not necessarily involve financial or material losses, and success in video gaming often relies on cognitive skills and sharp reflexes, contrasting with the largely chance-based nature of gambling.


Notwithstanding this ongoing discussion, any activity or habit that becomes all-consuming and detrimentally impacts one’s daily functioning can lead to significant mental, social, and physical health challenges. If you suspect that your video game habits are taking over your life, seeking medical assistance is crucial.

What are the signs and symptoms of video game addiction?

Signs and symptoms of video game addiction (internet gaming disorder) include:

Academic or Work Performance Decline

Poor performance at school, work or household responsibilities as a result of excessive video game playing.

Feeling Withdrawn or Moody

Withdrawal symptoms, such as sadness, anxiety or irritability, when games are taken away or gaming isn’t possible.

Spending Increasing Hours Gaming

A need to spend more and more time playing video games to get the same level of enjoyment.

Giving Up Hobbies and Friendships

Giving up other previously enjoyed activities and/or social relationships due to gaming.

Struggling to Limit Gaming Time

Being unable to reduce playing time and having unsuccessful attempts to quit gaming despite the negative consequences it’s causing.

Lying About Gaming Habits

Lying to family members or others about the amount of time spent playing video games.

Neglecting Personal Grooming

A decline in personal hygiene or grooming due to excessive video gaming.

Using Games to Cope with Stress or Emotions

Using video games as an escape from stressful situations at work or school or as a means to alleviate negative moods like guilt or hopelessness.

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What are the risk factors for Gaming Addiction?

Researchers are still learning about video game addiction (internet gaming disorder). So far, they’ve established some factors that may put people at higher risk for developing the condition.

Personal predisposition

Some individuals may be more genetically or psychologically predisposed to addictive behaviors. Factors like a family history of addiction or a history of other mental health issues can increase vulnerability.

Time spent gaming

Spending a significant amount of time playing video games, especially to the detriment of other responsibilities and activities, can increase the risk of addiction. This includes excessive gaming sessions that interfere with school or work, sleep, and social life.

Escape and coping mechanisms

Using gaming as a way to escape from real-life problems, stress, or negative emotions can be a risk factor. People who struggle with coping mechanisms and turn to gaming for emotional relief are more susceptible to addiction.

Mental health issues

Preexisting mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), can increase vulnerability to gaming addiction.

What are the effective treatment options for Gaming Addiction?

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

CBT helps individuals identify and change the thought patterns and behaviors that contribute to their addiction. It can help them develop healthier coping mechanisms and improve self-control.

Individual Therapy

One-on-one counseling sessions with a trained therapist can help individuals explore the root causes of their addiction and develop personalized strategies for recovery.


In some cases, medication may be prescribed to address co-occurring mental health conditions, such as depression, anxiety, or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), which can contribute to gaming addiction. Medication should be prescribed and monitored by a qualified psychiatrist.

Life Skills Training

Developing and enhancing life skills, such as time management, stress management, and problem-solving, can help individuals build a more balanced and fulfilling life outside of gaming.

Supportive Environment

Creating a supportive and understanding environment at home and among friends is essential for recovery. This includes reducing access to gaming devices and addressing any enabling behaviors.

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Gaming Addiction treatment in Florida

At Still Mind Florida, our CBT program offers a structured and supportive approach to mental wellness. Our focus is on fostering personal growth and community connection through the principles of Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

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You are not alone: Still Mind, Your Path to Mental Wellness