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Gambling addiction console and computer

Gambling Addiction Console and Computer - What is it?

The gaming addiction console and computer addiction i.e. the addiction to computer or console games can be found in all social and age groups. Similar to what is possible with substance-related addictions, the person affected develops a psychological dependence on gambling. In order to be able to understand the processes, the games and their effect on the players have to be examined more closely. Gambling addiction is not a sudden occurrence, it is much more a development: It all starts with the joy and fun of the game. It is often about the challenge of mastering tasks. Since there is a progression and a reward system in most games (unlocking equipment or the like), the player gains control over more and more issues in the game through the improvement. The growth of this control leads to power in this virtual universe and ultimately to an increase in self-esteem. It is from this chain that the brain learns to cope with stress and ultimately experiences greater and faster success than in the real world; the virtual is thus preferred to the real. Researchers have been able to demonstrate this process by measuring brain waves.

The so-called EEG (electroencephalography) shows that the happiness messenger dopamine is released during positive experiences in the gaming world. The gambling addiction-prone brain thus learns to reward itself. Other stimuli that could also trigger feelings of happiness wither away. The consequence of this is then psychological dependence. Characteristic for this are corresponding withdrawal symptoms while not playing and the loss of control over one's own gaming behavior. Role-playing games, also known as RPGs, are particularly "dangerous", as they are highly captivating thanks to a particularly sophisticated reward system and increased pressure from online interaction with other users. Players agree to meet at fixed times of the day and night in order to cope with virtual tasks together and thus neglect other more important things.

How do you recognize gaming addiction console and computer?

With regard to this question, it should be mentioned that it is common in today's world for people to spend a lot of time at the PC. Therefore, the time spent on the computer alone is not an indicator of addiction. There are several factors that come together.

Addicts lose track of time sitting in front of the screen. The withdrawal symptoms mentioned are expressed in restlessness, nervousness or sleep disorders. Further abnormalities are an ever increasing change in leisure time behavior and, as a result, hardly any time spent with friends or doing sports. Affected people isolate themselves continuously and show little interest in things outside of the virtual world. The addict's academic performance declines and depression becomes more widespread. Aggressive behavior, including fistfighting, triggered by playing time restrictions, are also common. In extreme cases, suicide is even threatened in order to blackmail the desired playing time. The gaming addiction console and computer received the name "IDG Internet Gaming Disorder" as a research diagnosis as part of medical examinations. As part of this research diagnosis, nine parameters were determined by means of which one can determine the presence of gambling addiction.

Nine diagnostic criteria for detecting gambling addiction:

  1. excessive preoccupation with console or computer, i.e. mental absorption
  2. Withdrawal symptoms such as irritability or sadness when there is no chance to play
  3. Need for longer and longer playing times, the so-called tolerance development
  4. repeated unsuccessful attempts to bring the game under control
  5. no longer interested in previously interesting hobbies and leisure activities
  6. Parents and family members are deceived and lied to about the amount of time spent playing
  7. Continuation of the intensive game despite the understanding of the consequences
  8. Games are used to escape from negative moods or to weaken them (e.g. helplessness, feelings of guilt, fearfulness)
  9. Endangerment or loss of an important social relationship, job or training or career opportunity due to gambling

Self-recognition of gambling addiction

Age plays a decisive role here. Young people usually live under the roof of their parents without any livelihood problems. Everything is taken care of and you only have to worry about a few things. A computer ban is only seen as pure harassment on the part of the parents, rather than as a therapeutic measure. Accordingly, it is not very promising to wait for students to recognize themselves.

It is different with people who already have to stand on their own two feet. Since adult addicts are quick to jeopardize their livelihoods if they cannot break away from gambling, there is a greater willingness to do something about their behavior.

What can you do about gambling addiction and how can you help those affected?

In order to have a preventive effect, parents can set up manageable rules for computer use and thus try to avoid an emerging gambling addiction console and computer. Furthermore, they should always encourage creativity and active leisure activities. Showing interest in what their children are doing also prevents them from getting lost. In addition, every parent should be a good role model and not spend too much time on the PC or in games.

If the above-mentioned factors have occurred and there is a suspicion, an interview with an expert should be sought. Due to the increasing relevance of this problem in the highly networked world in which we live, there are a large number of specialized addiction counseling centers. In the case of therapy, psychological treatment is carried out on an outpatient or inpatient basis, depending on the severity of the addiction. Just as the brain has "learned" an addiction, it can also learn again the correct and controlled use of computers and games. In order to rule out a relapse, actively planned leisure activities are important.

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About the author Jan Bohlken

Jan Bohlken (founder & owner of the Profiling Institute) is a study and career advisor, career coach and personnel consultant. In the Profiling Institute's blog, he regularly deals with a wide variety of topics from the fields of school, studies, career and education.