Mental Health

Video Game Addiction and its Negative Impact on health

– What your child should not do this Summer

Addiction of any kind and any age can hurt us. Video games can be addicting and especially with kids. A large number of kids are playing video games between 2-17 years of age. A study in University of Montreal suggests that that video games such as the “shooter” games kills the cells in the hippocampus of the brain, causing the cells to die permanently.

According to a recent study, approximately 92 percent of the parents allow their children to play video games for about an hour a day. Children play video games for 2 hours or more everyday. The remaining 8 percent mention that their kids play more than 5 hours  day.

Video games can have long term effects. Weight gain is the worst risk associated with playing video games too often it leads to sitting in front of the computer or TV for too long to play the video games. The other side effects are the risk of computer eye syndrome with excessive video game usage, blurry vision and headaches.

Many researchers have found that the gaming disorder increases high level of stress. For most people it is found that playing video games is a normal healthy way to release stress but not after it is uncontrollable. Stress leads to anxiety which leads to increase heart rate.

There are 3 main signs to look out for in children to realize if they are addicted:-

1. Mood Changes or Swings:

After receiving the video game, if the child or teenager becomes calm and relaxed, it is a sign of video game addiction.

2. Withdrawal symptoms:

Does not interact with people and develops a social phobia. This would also mean suffering relationships and increasing aggression.

3. Pre-occupied with video games:

Inability to focus on another task besides playing video games. Loses concentration easily at school.

During this summer it might be hard to keep kids busy. Please take time to take them for a swim, park, stay outdoors which may limit their association with the video games.

If you find your child in this situation, please reach out to a Child and Adolescent Provider to seek help from or your closest one. The earlier this is treated the better.

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