Gaming addiction to date has increased considerably during this pandemic, and it is observed not only among children and adolescents but also in adults.
Online gambling and gaming caused an increase in Gambling Addiction
The average teenager spends up to six hours a day at the computer playing online games while adults become submerse in online casinos (see play88 casino) as an alternative to land casinos.
Possible causes of gaming addiction
- A variety of mental disorders (psychopathy).
- Features of human character, complexity, shyness, often lead to the emergence of dependencies of this kind.
- Many people use games to realize their childhood fantasies and fears.
- Lack of communication. Such a problem is very relevant among children and adolescents, whose parents are constantly employed at work.
- Intra-family conflicts. Often to avoid family scandals, people are immersed in the invented world, than only exacerbate the situation.
- Social phobias when a person is afraid of interpersonal relationships and real society. Computer games help him get away from real life, feel significant and strong. The computer for him becomes an interlocutor and a friend.
Game dependency stages
Game dependence occurs not at once, in its development, there are several stages, each of which is characterized by certain signs and changes in the behavior of the addict. Each stage is characterized by the acquisition of new pathological biases.
Preparatory stage. In this stage, the person becomes susceptible. He develops low self-esteem, inability to control emotions, unable to accept criticism, aggression, impulsivity, and hyperactivity. This is also the stage that anxiety, depression, and stress increase. And ultimately, there is the tendency to immerse in the fantasy world. All these contribute to the development of gambling addiction among adults and children.
Addiction is not limited to computer games. People also have an irresistible desire to take risks that gradually develops an unconscious craving for risky games. If such a psychological state is not noticed and corrected, the addiction goes to the next stage.
The winning stage. The ultimate goal of every player is to enter the winning stage to achieve satisfaction and material benefit. However, it is also the winning stage that clouds the mind. Even small winnings strongly stimulate interest. It creates the illusion that a person himself creates his own destiny, having the opportunity to prove his superiority to others. At this stage, a person is unable to understand the consequences of his actions. Discontent and criticism from loved ones can be perceived very negatively.
The losing stage. Players don’t want to be at the losing stage but this is the stage that gamers find themselves in situations that offer zero to little options, leaving the player at the losing end. They spend all available money and even tend to borrow money. After a chain of losses for a while, the desire to play with them disappears and comes with an imaginary understanding of their mistakes. However, if there are some provoking factors (e.g. advertising or material opportunities), the person again goes on about his desire, and history repeats itself.
The stage of despair. Because of the systematic desire to play, a person loses interest in everything else. There becomes problems at school or at work, the circle of communication changes, the psychological state does not allow him to live normally in the family. The loved ones get tired of constant deceptions, debts, and negative attitudes, and they begin to gradually withdraw. The player often understands that the reason for everything is addiction, however, all attempts to control themselves do not bring a positive result.
Treatment of gambling addiction
Addiction cannot be considered an independent disease because it is a consequence of serious mental problems. It is important to identify the root cause of this phenomenon and to fight it specifically. Psychotherapy, medication, and hypnosis are used to treat gambling addiction. It is very important to apply comprehensive measures. Autogenic training, psychosynthesis, family and behavioral psychotherapy are also used.
Psychotherapy should be aimed at correcting family relationships, eliminating psychological attitudes (isolation), problems, treatment of fears. The gestalt therapy method, which helps to “close the gestalt”, i.e. to solve the problem, is successfully applied.