These days, one major challenge faced by parents is the addiction of children to mobile games. They may wonder if this is curable and what would happen from this chronic addiction if it continues. If you are not into parenting or if you haven’t played these games recently, you may not be able to appreciate the gravity of this problem. I myself being an addict for a long time can vouch for the pain of this addiction as well as the difficulty in getting out of this. A genuine gaming addict loses an average of 3 to 4 hrs playing games or thinking and dreaming about the game. The gaming addiction influences their daily habits and after a while, everything gets aligned with the game. The sleep time, the wakeup time, the eating practice, socializing time, all of this gets aligned with the gaming. Most of the time, the game overlaps with all these activities and a tough game addict eats, sleeps and lives in their gaming, all the time. People with ADHD are at a much higher risk of developing game addiction.
Can gaming addiction be controlled using counselling?
I started my interest in mobile games initially as a time pass to keep myself engaged during my project discussion meetings. Working as an IT engineer, there were too many conference calls many of which didn’t require any input from me and I was a mute listener most of the time. After many calls like this, I had to find a way to keep myself engaged to keep awake in the call and thus started my addiction to online games. Those days, instead of mobile games, the games were played in computers – Age of Empires, Call of Duty, Fallout, Farmville in FB, etc. Later I moved from one game to another and along with this came new mobile phones, even though I didn’t get any smarter, phones have become smarter and the smartphone era began. I moved to smartphone-based games and my addiction to the game continued with Angry Birds, Temple Run, Candy Crush and then with the granddaddy of all this, PUBG.
Once I got addicted to PUBG, gradually it started to impact my life. I started to do binge gaming, non-stop gaming for 5-6 hours become a norm.
I become anxious and sometimes felt depressed due to a lack of any other physical exercise.
I even had episodes of illnesses due to not taking a pee break which led to urinary infection. Life becomes totally addicted to PUBG.
Now, these are five practical ways to quit gaming addiction as I learned from my experience. I have used one or another of this to quit my addiction to gaming at various times. It’s another fact that inadvertently I relapsed into an addiction to another game and I had to quit that again with some of the side effects again. But, every time I got addicted to a game, after a while I used one of these below steps to quit and move on. So you can try one of these in your case as well.5 Practical Ways to Quit Gaming Addiction Click To Tweet
First thing is to accept that you are addicted to the game. Once you start to feel an urge to play when away from the game doing something important, it’s time to realise that you have an addiction problem. If you think about the game, the last round of your game, etc while you are engaged with something else, this has gone too far already. The first step is to start timing your games. Conscious write down the time spent on the game day after day and start alerting you mentally every time you start the game. Set yourself a target to spend less time every day. Try to delay the start of the game and build some resistance to starting a new game. After a while, you would develop the mental strength not to start the game altogether.
Another method is to pick up another game which may be less taxing to your brain, eyes, and mind. For example, if you are playing temple run, or PUBG, both of which takes a heavy toll on your body, in case of temple run your eyes take a heavy hit while PUBG would make your brain burn with anxiety and pressure most of the time, try to spend time with some less painful games such as a simple as flappy bird or snake or something. Eventually, you would be able to quit from the complex one and the easy one would bore you out soon.
Start doing some physical activity. Even if it takes extra time from your available schedule, go out and do some physically exerting activities like walking a ten-kilometre stretch at a go, play a football match, run few kilometres non stop, etc. Once you do this you will start enjoying these activities as the hormones created in your body during this would make you motivate you to continue this and your focus switches away from the games. Keep your smartphones away during this time and apply the previous method of delaying the games after trying this.
The best and most effective way I have taken to stop my PUBG addiction was to simply uninstall the game from my phone and to resist the temptation to reinstall it. PUBG was badly addictive for me and none of the above methods was working with it. Then one day, all of a sudden I deleted the app from my phone and then resisted my temptation to reinstall. I could resist for a few days and then I reinstalled it again, but after a day I uninstalled it again, not to get back to that afterward. So far, I am being successful in keeping away from addictive games after this.
If you have tried all these methods and still you are not able to overcome this addiction, it’s time for you to take expert support. If you think your daily routines are changed and adapted to be in tune with the game, then you should try to get out of this habit or consult with an expert counsellor. Every day you spend addicted to a game makes your life shorter by that much and cost you dearly in lost opportunities.