When mentioning addiction, most people in Poland think about drugs, alcohol or cigarettes. However, apart from these evil three, countless addictions can damage people’s lives, video games being one of them. Something that used to be a hobby can easily become an addiction and it is hard to know where the tipping point is.

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Gaming disorder definition

According to the World Health Organization’s definition gaming disorder is “a pattern of gaming behaviour characterized by impaired control over gaming”. The directive also mentions giving priority to gaming over other activities and therefore suffering negative consequences in life.

When gaming becomes a problem

It is not easy to recognize at what point somebody’s gaming habits turn into an addiction. In this article, we are discussing what signs are suggesting an addiction, with iGaming expert Jacek Michałski. Jacek – read more about him here – lives and works in Poland where the gaming industry has been growing steadily during the past years.

Warning signs of an addiction:

  1. Not being able to stop playing

When somebody is addicted, they must play every day. If they can’t for some reason, they feel guilty for letting down their playing mates. If it is impossible to drag your family member or partner away from the screen, there is a problem.

  1. Spending too much money on gaming

Addicts will spare no money on their gaming equipment or purchasing new games, in-game tools, making micro-transactions etc. When it comes to online gambling the amount of money spent can be on an even higher scale.

Honest online casinos in Poland have dedicated responsible gaming teams who are there to pick up on signs of problem gambling. When selecting an online casino to play at, it is always advisable to read reviews to make sure you select a licenced and responsible casino such as Spinia.

If you are interested in how online gambling companies work and how to make sure they are safe to play at, check out here.

  1. Isolation

As video game addiction takes over, the player has no interest in the outside world. All they want to do is sit indoors, playing games. They will stop going out seeing friends or spending quality time with family. This leads to social isolation.

  1. Health issues

Compulsive gaming can lead to a series of health issues that is the result of no exercise, bad posture and intense use of the hands. A sedentary lifestyle can cause heart problems, diabetes and blood pressure issues. Sitting down all day in a bad position can strain the neck and back muscles, causing pain. The flickering lights of the screen can trigger migraines and the excessive use of the keyboard can cause carpal tunnel syndrome which leads to a tingling sensation and weakness in the hands and lower arms.

Gaming addiction often changes the player’s eating habits. Some will only eat when they are very hungry and therefore lose significant weight. Others will stock up on high calorie, quick to eat snacks such as potato chips and candy and they will keep eating while playing. This can lead to a serious weight gain.

  1. Exhaustion

Often gamers will sacrifice even sleeping for the gaming experience and can stay up all night in front of the screen, being exhausted the next day. Flickering light and aggressive sounds can cause insomnia, so even when they finally make it to bed their sleep quality will be poor.

  1. Aggressive behaviour and lying

Excessive gamers often want to hide their addiction and lie to their family members about the time they spend gaming. They might even turn aggressive towards others if they try to stop them from playing.

  1. A lack of personal hygiene

A lack of the need to take care of one’s self will come from isolation. Why wash your hair or bother changing your clothes if you are in your room alone all day? However, not having 5-10 minutes for these basic human habits is a serious sign of a problem.

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How to stop playing games?

Gaming addicts can get external help such as talking to a family doctor, psychologist or counsellor. Sometimes anxiety or depression are the triggers for gaming addictions and a medical professional should be able to determine and treat these issues.

Conclusion

Though for most people playing video games is harmless fun, for others it can become an addiction. You should watch out for the above-mentioned signs and seek professional help if your gaming behaviour is out of control.

Please gamble responsibly.