Problem gaming can occur when someone has an urge or compulsion to game that impacts or leads to neglect of other areas of their lives. The urge to game can be continued despite the gamer knowing that it is causing them harm or them wanting to stop.
What is problem gaming?
If you are reading this and thinking to yourself that this could be something you are going through, I want you to know you are not alone in this. Several surveys indicate that Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) affects between 1-10% of Europe and North America, that is up to one in 10 people.
Where can I go?
It can be quite daunting to reach out for help with an addiction, which is why we offer a dedicated confidential text-based chat service which runs from 9am – 2am (UK time) Monday to Friday and 10am – 10pm (UK time) Saturday and Sunday. You can find this by clicking the “speak to an advisor” button at the bottom of this page.
Here you can talk with one of our clinically trained advisors about your concerns around gaming, be that a gaming problem that you have or may be developing, or a concern around a friend or loved one that you feel may have a gaming addiction problem. We are not here to judge, but to listen and help you through this.
Signs that you may have/are developing a gaming addiction
- Are you thinking about gaming all or a lot of the time?
- Are you struggling to stop or play less?
- Is it the main source of enjoyment in life?
- Are you not wanting to do other things that you used to like?
- Does it take up most of your free time?
- Are those around you concerned with how much you are playing?
- Do you lie about how much you are playing to friends/family?
- Is it negatively effecting your school, work, or social life?
- Is it causing you to lose sleep?
- Are you using gaming to ease bad moods or feelings?
Steps you can take
- Reach out to a loved one
- Take a break from gaming and explore other activities you might enjoy
- Limit your access to gaming
- Keep your console, PC, or phone out of your room, so you can’t game into the night
- Avoid games that you know keep you playing for hours
- Avoid games that offer loot boxes or have microtransactions
- Ask friends and family not to bring up gaming around you
Come and talk to us on our free text based addiction helpline