Gaming Addiction: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
Easy access to gaming and its active promotion have led to a situation where in 2023 people of any gender and age are susceptible to gaming addiction. Despite the strong attachment that develops in a gamer, this bad habit can be overcome. Learn why gambling addiction arises, how to recognize the addiction, and how specialists can help combat it.
What is gaming addiction and how to recognize it?
According to the definition, gaming addiction, or ludomania, is a pathological attraction to various forms of gambling. This type of addiction is called non-chemical, as its object is not a psychoactive substance but a behavioral pattern. A person suffering from ludomania repeatedly engages in gambling, and as a result, their material, family, and social values begin to suffer. The object of addiction takes a key place in their life.
Causes of addiction development
Despite the active and sometimes intrusive advertising of casinos, lotteries, and other forms of gambling, addiction arises in only a small number of individuals, while others have no interest in this realm of entertainment. Thus, we can conclude that the true causes of ludomania development are not external influences but rather the psychological peculiarities of each individual.
Three main reasons make a person susceptible to gaming addiction are as follows:
- Poor awareness of gambling. In reality, the winnings of winners come from the money of losers, and the chances of winning are extremely low. People who contemplate these financial and moral aspects of gambling are less prone to ludomania since they understand all the risks associated with gambling activities.
- Low adaptation in society. A socially adapted individual has self-confidence, can build relationships with others, and can achieve set goals. If one’s life is plagued by constant failures, the thirst for self-realization leads them to the gambling business, which promises easy gain and respect. Adaptation problems often originate in a ludomaniac’s childhood – humiliation or excessive praise from parents, as well as difficulties in educational institutions, hinder their adaptation in adulthood.
- Desire for easy money. The gambling industry is designed in a way that lures new players with small initial wins. This encourages investing more money to win the jackpot. Losing money and going into the negative drives the gamer to try to recover the losses, perpetuating the cycle.
Another cause is purely emotional. Winning triggers euphoria in a person. Striving to experience this feeling again, they repeatedly attempt to do so, often at the expense of their social life.
How to identify gaming addiction?
The primary indicator of developed ludomania is the complete absorption with the addicted individual. Work, sleep, and daily activities are performed solely to create an opportunity for the person to play. This leads to a decline in work productivity, disruption of sleep or rest routines, and even harm to health.
There are other external signs that can help identify gaming addiction:
- Intense irritability: this manifests when a person is separated from the game or thoughts related to it: planning strategies, thinking about bets, and so on.
- Loss of control: when the gamer loses, he/she doesn’t stop playing and wants to recover losses. Even when they win, they continue playing to gain more.
- Withdrawal: since a ludomaniac is left with no interests other than gaming, they have nothing to talk about with people who do not share this addiction.
- Unstable emotional state: frequent mood swings, panic attacks, and resulting sleep problems.
- Constant gaming activity: gaming sessions take place regularly and whenever there is a convenient opportunity.
Certainly, all these symptoms impact relationships with family and loved ones. To satisfy their addiction, a ludomaniac starts lying to his surrounding. In the worst scenarios, he/she might resort to theft to find money for another game. This leads to problems in personal life and can even lead to its destruction. However, overcoming the addiction is possible. Timely detection of the disorder and proper treatment play a crucial role.
How to overcome the addiction to gambling?
Since the majority of ludomania cases arise from psychological issues, simply cutting off access to gaming resources is not enough. The addicted will seek ways to relapse by any means. To get rid of the dependence, it is necessary to work on addressing the underlying causes. Some players managed to break free on their own, but in most cases, the help of medical experts is required for diagnosis and treatment.
What can a person do to overcome addiction?
If a ludomaniac acknowledges his problem and is willing to put in the effort to overcome it, the following steps can help:
- Clearly define your budget and time for playing, and avoid exceeding the limitations.
- View the game as entertainment rather than a source of profit. Be aware that you are more likely to lose.
- Avoid playing when feeling excited, agitated, tired, or angry.
- Take others’ opinions about the addiction seriously.
- Don’t chase losses. Only invest personal funds, avoiding borrowing.
- Allocate the time previously spent on gambling to other forms of relaxation.
- Seek help from a close friend or family member.
Why is clinic assistance required?
Unfortunately, individuals suffering from gaming addiction often fail to realize their problem as they believe they can quit at any moment (although it’s not that simple). In such cases, caring relatives who arrange a doctor’s consultation can be of assistance. Through interaction, specialists can identify the cause of the addiction and develop an effective treatment plan.
Moreover, the clinic’s atmosphere contributes to healing. During the treatment course, the ludomaniac won’t just be restricted from playing – on the contrary, professionals will help them see other opportunities for self-realization, relaxation, and positive emotions.
In what way can the IsraRehab clinic come to the aid?
While domestic medicine pays limited attention to non-chemical addictions, recovery from gaming addiction is achievable! The IsraRehab Clinic is based in Israel, a country renowned for its advanced medical care. Additionally, the Israeli climate and nature are powerful tools that help divert patients from their addiction and focus on the world around them.
Our clinic is trustworthy because we:
- Employ only proven methods with demonstrated global effectiveness.
- Tailor a personalized treatment program for each patient, finding the right approach.
- Offer a gentle rehabilitation period to help reshape psychology.
- Create a home-like atmosphere in the clinic that has a positive therapeutic effect.
Our entire staff speaks Russian, making IsraRehab Clinic a comfortable place in picturesque Israel that aids in overcoming the root causes of addiction, enabling individuals to lead a fulfilling life free from burdensome addictions!