Online gaming and mental health

Online gaming and mental health
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 22-03-2023

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With increased development in devices and gaming technology, the number of people using online platforms for gaming has increased exponentially in the last ten years. Data suggest that more than 200 million people play online games every year. During the current scenario of lockdown, most of us are self-quarantined at home which has also contributed to the expansion of online gamers. With the rapid increase of online gamers, there has been a growing concern about the excessive use of online gaming platforms and its consequences on our mental wellness.

The most common online gaming genre in recent times is Multiplayer Online Playing Games (MOPGs).

Consequences or problematic outcomes of these games:

  • Distress,
  • Irritability,
  • Low self-esteem,
  • Depressive symptoms,
  • Aggression issues,
  • Excessive competition,
  • Preoccupation with the game,
  • Problematic gaming behavior,
  • Need for approval or social desirability,
  • Increased play time,
  • Disturbed routine and sleeping schedule,
  • Poor general health,
  • Frequent headaches,
  • Poor eyesight,
  • Disputes with team-mates and opponents,
  • Abusive language,
  • Escapism (i.e. avoiding real-life problems),
  • Tantrums and demand for better devices,
  • Adopting an in-game persona,
  • Personalization of character,
  • Strained parent-child relationship,
  • Withdrawal like symptoms

Gaming addiction (behavioral disorder) is included in the Diagnostic and statistical manual in its latest edition (DSM-5).

Following are some suggestive measures to get rid of gaming addiction:

  • Realize it is affecting you.
  • Set time limits and stick to it.
  • Take time off the gadgets.
  • Involve yourself in other routine activities.
  • Consult for professional help.

Visit HopeQure to get online mental health counseling which will help you overcome!

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