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The risk factors involving when you are too much into gaming

It is essential to take care of a developing gaming addiction at the right time, or else you will have to bear its consequences and risks.

The gaming industry has taken off remarkably in the last few years. It has evolved from catering to ‘nerds and geeks’ into a global industry that provides entertainment for the entire family. In the UK, the gaming industry has climbed to the second position in the entertainment sector in terms of revenue generated.

One of the biggest reasons for gaming popularity is the availability of multiple platforms such as gaming consoles, PCs, laptops, mobile phones, tablets etc., which have made gaming more accessible than ever before. However, the picture is not always perfect when we talk about gaming.

Although gaming is fun and provides an excellent way for family and friends to come together, it has a darker side that can impact lives negatively. The darker side is called gaming addiction, which has many risk factors. Unfortunately, gaming addiction has been rising fast in the UK in recent years, creating many personal and social problems.

Fine line between gaming and gaming too much
Intrinsically, gaming is not a problem. However, it becomes a significant issue when gamers start losing themselves while playing games and forget entirely about their lives and responsibilities. In their attempt to make a name for themselves by climbing the online ranking tables or earning more in-game points, some people shut off from the outside world. Consequently, they put their mental and physical health in jeopardy. Moreover, their relationships and family life goes for a toss, and eventually, they find themselves in an incredibly tough situation that is tough to get out of.

In order to prevent gaming addiction, it is important to spot the fine line between gaming and gaming too much. Gaming at a designated time for an hour or so means you are in control and on the right side of the line. But if you cannot control your urge to play and gaming day and night, despite knowing its harmful effect on your lives, then it means you are on the wrong side of the line. It is hard for someone to judge themselves and figure out whether they are on the right or wrong side of the line. But if you hear your loved ones and friend often tell you about your ‘bad gaming habit’, it is time to take notice.

It is essential to take care of a developing gaming addiction at the right time, or else you will have to bear its consequences and risks.

Risk factors associated with gaming addiction
When someone becomes excessively involved in gaming, it can lead to several risk factors and negative consequences. Here are some potential risks associated with excessive gaming:

1. Physical health degradation
Spending excessive amounts of time gaming can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, resulting in a lack of physical activity and potential health problems such as obesity, musculoskeletal issues, poor posture, and increased risk of chronic conditions like cardiovascular disease.

2. Mental health is adversely impacted
Excessive gaming can cause mental health problems like depression, anxiety, social isolation, and low self-esteem. It may also worsen existing mental health conditions and make life difficult.

3. Worsening academic/work performance leading to diminishing future returns
Spending excessive time gaming can negatively impact academic or work performance. Neglecting responsibilities, missing deadlines, and experiencing difficulty concentrating can lead to underachievement and potential long-term consequences.

4. Social and relationship issues emerge
Unchecked gaming can lead to social isolation, strained relationships, and reduced quality of interpersonal connections. Neglecting social activities and spending less time with friends and family can lead to feelings of loneliness and social withdrawal.

5. Sleep disturbance leads to lethargy and lack of cognitive function
When you game llate into the night or for extended periods, it can disrupt your sleep patterns, and lead to insomnia or insufficient sleep. Sleep deprivation can adversely impact overall well-being and (particularly) cognitive functioning.

6. Diminished earnings due to purchasing virtual items
In cases where excessive gaming involves purchasing virtual items or engaging in online gambling, it can lead to financial strain or even addiction. When you spend too much on in-game purchases or gamble online, it can result in financial difficulties and loss of control over personal finances.

7. Neglecting other interests and responsibilities
Too much gaming can lead to neglecting other hobbies, interests, and important responsibilities such as household chores, personal care, and family commitments.

8. Risk of gaming disorder
In some cases, excessive gaming can develop into a gaming disorder, which is a recognized mental health condition characterized by impaired control over gaming, prioritizing gaming over other activities, and continuing to game despite negative consequences.

Final thoughts
As mentioned earlier in the article, gaming is not intrinsically bad activity. But when someone games unchecked, it can lead to a gaming addiction, which is bad in every way. If you feel that you or your loved one is developing a gaming addiction, it is crucial to resort to addiction counselling. If you cannot control the habit by yourself or with family support, you should undergo rehab treatment for gaming before the addiction destroys your health, relationships and social life.

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