The definition of addiction; “continued use despite adverse consequences” can apply to  so many different things!

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Video game addiction

How Fortnite plays into gaming disorder

Warning signs of gaming addiction

Treatment for video game addiction CARLOS DIAZPUBLISHED: OCT 15TH, 2018 – 3:15AM (EDT)UPDATED: OCT 16TH, 2018 – 2:55AM (EDT)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) — Officially, it’s called “video gaming disorder,” but yes, video game addiction is a thing.

The World Health Organization recently recognized gaming disorder as a mental health condition. It will be included in the organization’s 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases.

One local doctor explained how exactly playing too many video games could be classified as an addiction.

“There’s neurological research that says when you play a video game, your brain responds in the same way it does as if you take an addictive substance. Same as cocaine. Same neurological changes in your brain,” said. Dr. Shaena Gardner. “I think that’s something we should be concerned about when our kids are spending hours and hours a day doing it.”

One of the most popular gaming addiction culprits for today’s young generation is “Fortnite.” The game is exploded in the last year, going from 20 million players in November 2017 to 125 million players in September 2018.

And it’s not just users the video game is gaining. The company is cashing in on all those players. Just in April of this year, the game made $296 million.

Gardner says multi-player games are especially addictive because unlike single-player games, there’s not just one objective in sight. With single-player games, players try to reach the end or just beat their own high score. But with multi-player games, the competition is endless because there’s always someone else to battle.

So what are the warning signs of gaming addiction? Some symptoms like developing carpal tunnel syndrome and having poor hygiene practices may be easier to spot. But others, like fatigue and headaches could be more difficult to narrow down as side effects of playing too many video games.

“There’s warning signs that your child has a problem,” said Gardner. “If you take the game away, are they incredibly restless? Are they irritable? Are they kind of freaking out that they don’t get to play?”

Gardner said other things to look for include kids always thinking about their last or next gaming session with they’re not playing and neglecting time with friends or family to play.

But gaming addiction is not just an issue for children. Online divorce service Divorce-Onlineposted a blog in September saying addiction to video games, including but not limited to Fortnite, had been cited as one of the reasons for divorce in 200 divorce petitions to the website since Jan. 1, 2018.

When it comes to treatment, Gardner says gaming addiction can frequently be boiled down to the need to escape certain circumstances.

“If there are video game issues going on, excessive gaming issues, there’s probably an underlying issue, whether that’s anxiety, whether that depression, whether that’s an avoidance of social circumstances going on at school, it’s likely not existing in a vacuum.”

Dr. David Greenfield is an expert in technology dependency, helping patients overcome addictions to things including the internet and smarphones, pornography and video games. He recently partnered with Odyssey Behavior Healthcare to open a headquarters in Connecticut for the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction.

Dr. Raymond Oenbrink
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