Video games have gained immense popularity as a form of entertainment, particularly among the younger generation. The dopamine rush triggered by these games plays a significant role in their appeal. Dopamine, a crucial neurotransmitter, is responsible for generating feelings of reward and motivation. This sensation of pleasure and satisfaction is comparable to the experiences observed in individuals with gambling and substance addiction

Video games have become popular entertainment among many people, especially children and adolescents. One reason for this popularity is that video games can quickly trigger dopamine release. It is an important neurotransmitter that is responsible for pleasurable reward and motivation. This can deliver a feeling of pleasure and satisfaction, similar to what is observed with other use disorders like gambling and substance addiction.

Another important factor contributing to the video game addiction is their design. Video games are purposely designed to be challenging, but not overwhelmingly so. They often incorporate variable reward systems, where players receive rewards for completing certain tasks or achieving a certain level of success. This reward system creates a desire to keep playing as players seek to achieve higher levels of success, thereby triggering the release of dopamine and reinforcing addictive behavior.

Video games are hard to resist as a form of entertainment from daily stress. That’s why even adolescents and husbands are becoming drawn to gaming. If you notice that your husband or loved one becomes more attached to playing video games, this is the right place to know what to do. This article includes everything to know about addiction to gaming.

But before all of that, have a quick look at why your husband is addicted to games.

Video Game Addiction Caused by Stress from Work


Husbands are typically the provider of the family. For that reason, they tend to work harder, and many have found playing video games to be a way to relax and de-stress after a long day at work. Video games can provide an escape from the daily pressures of work and stressful situations. These games allow husbands to immerse themselves in a whole new world for a while. Video game playing and focusing on achieving certain goals can also be a form of stress relief, as it helps the mind focus on something other than work.

Additionally, many video games feature relaxing and calming music, beautiful scenery, and engaging storylines that can all create a sense of relaxation. There are also certain genres of video games, such as puzzle games or simulation games, that require a more meditative and strategic approach, which can help to comfort the mind and reduce stress levels. If you observe this in your husband whenever he plays video games, you can say that gaming is a beneficial outlet for escaping stress.

As for video games, you must always remember that everything too much can be bad, no matter what it is. While the entertainment from video games can be a big help for de-stressing, there are always risks that it can lead to video game addiction.

Indicators of Video Game Addiction

Video game addiction, or gaming addiction, can be a serious issue that has negative consequences on your husband’s mental and physical health. Because of this concern, you must remember that recognizing the emotional and physical signs of video game addiction is important to address the problem before it gets worse.

Here are some video game addiction indicators you should look out for your husband. Know that these are obvious signs when playing video games becomes an addiction.

  • Neglecting duties and responsibilities

One significant symptom of video game addiction is the neglect of important daily activities. A gaming addict may prioritize playing video games over performing daily activities such as personal hygiene, work, or school assignments.

  • Thinks about gaming all the time

Individuals struggling with video game addiction may experience obsessive thoughts about playing. They may constantly think about the game they are playing or the next time they will be able to play. They always feel the urge to spend more time gaming.

  • Unable to reduce playing time

People with video game addiction may try to reduce their time spent playing, but they find it challenging to do so. They may compulsively desire to continue playing even when they know they should stop. Simply put, they may struggle with their impaired control over gaming time.

  • Continuing to play despite problems

Despite negative consequences in their life, they might continue playing excessively. Also, the pattern of gaming behavior is evident over long periods of time. Among the consequences are failing classes, less time for recreational activities, losing a job, or isolation from friends and family.

  • Playing to deal with negative emotions

Gaming may be a way to alleviate negative emotions such as depression, anxiety, or stress. A video game addict may rely on this as a coping mechanism to numb emotional pain and feelings of loneliness.

Symptoms of Gaming Addiction


Like any other addiction, there are several gaming addiction symptoms that you should look out for when living with a spouse who has a gaming problem. These symptoms can be emotional and physical indicators. That’s why it is vital to identify them early on to address the issue.

Emotional symptoms of video game addiction can include your partner’s frequent need to use gaming to mask negative emotions. They may struggle with depression or anxiety, and gaming can be a way for them to escape these feelings. Additionally, you may notice your partner becoming irritable, angry, or emotionally disconnected when they’re not playing games.

Meanwhile, physical symptoms can include poor sleep patterns, eye strain, and physical symptoms such as back pain or headaches from sitting for extended periods. If your partner spends long hours playing games regularly, they may also experience changes in their hygiene, eating habits, and overall physical health.

It’s also common for mental health issues like depression and anxiety to go hand-in-hand with adult gaming addiction. If you notice your partner struggling with these issues, addressing them alongside gaming addiction is important.

Aside from the emotional and physical symptoms, other signs of gaming addiction can include neglecting responsibilities, such as taking care of household chores, bills, and other tasks. Furthermore, your partner may lose their job or do the bare minimum with the intention just to get by because they are obsessed with playing games.

Ultimately, emotional and physical symptoms are common indicators. They are not hard to spot on because they obviously change one’s behavior regarding daily functioning.

The Struggle of Having a Spouse with Video Game Addiction

Undoubtedly, having a spouse battling gaming addiction is not easy. The addiction can take a toll on the relationship, causing emotional and physical strain and sometimes leading to the breakdown of the relationship. Coping with the situation can be challenging. However, understanding the warning signs and implementing coping strategies can help you manage the situation.

One of the primary indications of gaming addiction is the excessive use of video games. Other warning signs include neglecting responsibilities, isolation from family and friends, and anger or irritability when not playing games. If you easily notice any of these warning signs in your spouse’s behavior, addressing the issue before it spirals out of control is important.

Coping strategies play an instrumental role in managing a spouse’s gaming addiction. One way is to set time limits for playing video games. Establishing specific game hours ensures your partner engages in other activities and strengthens your relationship. You can also help your spouse find new hobbies. Encouraging them to take up activities like exercise, art, or dance can distract them from playing games.

In addition, creating a conducive environment can also help your spouse overcome their addiction. For instance, you can keep electronics out of the bedroom, making it easier for your partner to sleep better. You can also make more time for each other, engaging in activities that strengthen your bond, such as cooking, watching a movie, or taking walks together.

Overall, dealing with a spouse suffering from gaming addiction can be a challenging journey. Still, remember that your support and encouragement—combined with professional help—can go a long way in helping your spouse overcome this addiction.

Effects of Video Game Addiction

Previous studies show that people assigned male at birth are more likely to develop an addiction to playing video games. Nonetheless, gaming addiction can still affect people of all ages—from children to teens and adults. Therefore, all are susceptible to the negative effects of being addicted to video games.

Video game addiction can have severe short and long-term negative consequences on an individual’s health, well-being, and social life. Excessive gaming can disturb sleep and eating patterns, leading to sleeping disorders and an unhealthy lifestyle. Moreover, prolonged gaming sessions can make an individual more vulnerable to seizures and other physical ailments.

Excessive gaming can also lead to social isolation and decreased social skills, as individuals may prefer to engage with virtual characters rather than real-life people. This may further exacerbate emotional difficulties such as depression and anxiety, which video game addicts often experience. They may also start feeling socially disconnected from the world around them, leading to feeling isolated and lonely.

Furthermore, prolonged gaming can lead to more severe consequences, such as poor performance, decreased attention span, behavioral issues, and less physical activity. From physical health to social life and emotional well-being, gaming addiction can do all harm. So, before the worst thing could happen to your husband, recognizing the problem should be the first step to seeking help and treatment to prevent further damage and promote a healthier lifestyle.

Health Risks and Concerns of Video Game Addiction


Video gaming addiction has become a rising concern among people of all ages, most especially children and teenagers. Along with being an entertaining pastime, excessive gaming can also result in a broad range of health risks and concerns, both physical and mental.

The physical symptoms that could develop due to excessive gaming are eye strain, headaches, and carpal tunnel syndrome, among others. Prolonged exposure to the screen may cause eye fatigue, dryness, or discomfort, leading to headaches. Additionally, prolonged holding of the controller may result in carpal tunnel syndrome. This condition causes numbness, tingling, and weakness in the hand.

Gaming addiction can also have a significant impact on mental health. It eventually result in the development of mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. Being absorbed in the virtual world can cause individuals to become isolated from reality and lose touch with the real world. They may also experience difficulty concentrating and engaging in social conversations.

Personal hygiene is another aspect that can be compromised due to excessive gaming. Individuals may spend hours immersed in gaming, forgetting their basic personal hygiene, such as showering or brushing their teeth. Over time, it will lead to severe health problems such as skin infections, oral health issues, or long-term effects on the individual’s general well-being.

In addition to personal hygiene, excessive gaming can also impact sleep, leading to sleep deprivation. These individuals may find themselves staying up late into the night to play. This eventually leads to a lack of quality sleep and fatigue, making it difficult to function during the day.

Furthermore, gaming addiction can severely impact an individual’s social life. They may feel apart from their loved ones around them and stop engaging in social activities. Due to gaming addiction, individuals may prefer interacting with virtual characters rather than interacting with real-life people, causing them to feel isolated and lonely.

With all the health risks and concerns of video game addiction, it undoubtedly can lead to a quality of life. Hence, treatment and proper adjustment to video game time are necessary. Although it is entertaining, it should not make the most of your husband’s time.

Diagnosis of Video Game Addiction


Diagnosing video game addiction is a relatively new field, with many experts and clinicians still working to understand the condition and differentiate it from other behavioral addictions. In fact, video game addiction is not officially categorized as a standalone disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Yet, it has already been recognized by the International Classification of Diseases as a legitimate disorder since 2018. It was officially included as an internet gaming disorder.

Proposed criteria for diagnosing video game addiction typically include symptoms such as impaired control over gaming, preoccupation with gaming, escalation of gaming despite negative consequences and withdrawal symptoms when gaming is restricted. The severity of these symptoms, together with how long they have been present, can also be taken into account when diagnosing the condition.

Individuals experiencing gaming addiction may experience negative impacts on various areas of life, such as work, school, and relationships. They may experience difficulty keeping up with work or academic responsibilities, experience difficulty concentrating or engaging in social interactions, and even neglect personal hygiene. Alternatively, they may try to hide their gaming behavior from friends and family or distance themselves from their loved ones.

Moreover, the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasizes that healthy gaming behavior differs from addiction and only applies to individuals who exhibit the previously mentioned symptoms and whose daily activities are negatively affected. Ultimately, the WHO’s recognition of gaming addiction as a disorder is an essential step forward, but experts and clinicians must continue working to differentiate healthy gaming from addiction.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this FAQ section, we will address some of the commonly asked questions about video game addiction. We hope to provide helpful information and insights about gaming addiction. The questions we will explore below include the signs and symptoms of gaming addiction, the risk factors contributing to it, and the available resources and treatments for overcoming it.

What are the popular beliefs about video games?

Video games are often a topic of controversy, with numerous misconceptions and contrasting arguments regarding their impact on individuals. Some believe that video games promote violence and antisocial behavior, while others argue they can have positive benefits, such as improving cognitive function and problem-solving skills. It’s important to clear up these misconceptions and understand that video games can promote both negative and positive characteristics.

The impact of video games also relies heavily on the player’s attitude towards games and life. A player with a positive attitude towards games and a balanced lifestyle is more likely to experience positive effects from playing them. Meanwhile, a player who has a negative attitude towards games and spends excessive amounts of time playing them may experience negative consequences.

Why do many people believe that gaming addiction is not real?

There are various reasons why some individuals believe that gaming addiction is not a real phenomenon or a serious mental health disorder. Also, it has been a controversial topic, with some experts and individuals staunchly believing in its existence while others deem it fictitious. Here are some of what people believe about gaming addiction:

– It is argued that excessive gaming is simply part of the symptom of an underlying mental health issue.
– There is no clear explanation of what constitutes addiction to video games.
– Some people believe that excessive gaming is not harmful in and of itself. But they also believe that problematic gaming may happen and can interfere with day-to-day responsibilities and social interactions. It causes less time to do other recreational activities.
– Others believe that the concept of gaming addiction has been exaggerated and sensationalized by the media. They argue that the term is often used to stigmatize gamers and portray them as socially unacceptable.

How much gaming time is too much for a day?

The amount of gaming that is considered “too much” for a day may vary based on the individual’s age, responsibilities, and personal circumstances.

According to the World Health Organization, spending more than three hours daily engaged in video gaming activities may indicate gaming disorder. Yet, this is not considered a hard and fast rule and may vary based on the individual’s lifestyle and responsibilities.

For children and teenagers, screen time—including gaming—is recommended to be just two hours each day. This ensures that children have a balanced daily routine that includes physical activity, social interaction, and adequate sleep.

For adults, the amount of time that can be spent gaming each day depends on their other responsibilities. It is essential not to neglect these responsibilities in favor of gaming. Also, gaming should not interfere with overall health and well-being, including exercise, diet, and sleep.

Ultimately, listening to your body and recognizing the signs of overindulgence is important. If gaming begins to cause physical or psychological harm, such as fatigue, eye strain, or sleep disruption, it would be a sign that it is time to take a break.

Is it bad to be addicted to playing video games?

It is hard to deny that playing video games is enjoyable. Many think of it as a way to unwind, socialize with friends, or simply have fun. Due to that entertainment, playing video games can be excessive, and that can result in addiction over time.

Ultimately, it is considered bad to be addicted to playing video games as it can lead to various negative consequences, including physical, psychological, social, and academic problems. It is important to maintain a balance between gaming and other aspects of life and seek help if video game addiction is interfering with personal goals and well-being.

How to treat my husband or loved one who is addicted to gaming?

Addressing gaming addiction requires a multi-faceted approach. Encouraging open communication, setting boundaries, and promoting healthy habits, such as exercise and socialization, can help. Also, it is necessary to seek professional help from a therapist or addiction treatment center. Ultimately, you will know more about what to do once you talk to a professional.

Why isn’t gaming addiction treated seriously?

Due to the widespread interest and acceptance of online video games, many people still see gaming as a harmless form of entertainment and don’t perceive addiction to be as serious as other substances or behaviors. Stigma and lack of awareness around the issue also contribute to the lack of seriousness attributed to gaming addiction. Thankfully, there is growing recognition of its potentially detrimental effects and increased advocacy for its recognition and treatment because of developing research on gaming addiction.

Can limiting the game time reduce my husband’s game addiction?

Limiting the amount of gaming time can be a helpful step in addressing gaming addiction. But alone, this technique may not be enough to fully treat the addiction. A comprehensive approach—setting boundaries, promoting healthy habits, and seeking professional help—is typically needed to effectively treat gaming addiction. Remember that the best approach to being free from addiction is to join treatment programs and be guided by professionals.

Final Thoughts

While it may start as entertainment to relax and unwind at first, playing video games can do harm over time. Many might develop a gaming addiction since it is fun and comes with challenges. As already mentioned above, gaming addiction can cause poor quality of life. That’s why it should be considered a serious concern. Fortunately, a wide range of treatment options are available to help individuals struggling with gaming addiction.

For instance, one popular treatment for video game addiction is cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps individuals determine the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors that add to their compulsive gaming and develop coping strategies to deal with the urge to play. CBT is a short-term, evidence-based treatment focusing on changing negative thought patterns and building healthy habits. The biggest advantage of asking for professional help is the exceptional support and guidance.

Costa Rica Treatment Center offers everything needed for the effective treatment journey for addiction. We offer a free evaluation, so you don’t need to hesitate to partner with us. Contact us so that you will know more about what we can do, offer, and help with addiction recovery.

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