When we think of addictions, video gaming isn’t the first thing that likely comes to mind, but the reality is that hundreds of millions around the globe are hooked on games, and Dr. Andrew Doan was one of them. Dr. Doan is a physician, researcher in neuroscience, and author of Hooked on Games: The Lure and Cost of Video Game and Internet Addiction. His story and expertise offers solutions to this growing addiction.
Dr. Doan is a recognized expert in technology and video game addiction. He shared his personal battle with internet gaming addition and shocking statistics he has learned throughout his journey.
“1 in 11 kids fall into the addictive category, that’s about 3 million kids ages 8 to 18 years in the U.S.”
Yet it’s not only young people and teenagers struggling with gaming addition, there are also many adults who are currently hooked on games. Dr. Doan explains how he used gaming to escape the stress and pressure of life, while attempting to numb the pain and distract himself away from the real world. His addiction slowly started breaking down his family, becoming his drug of choice.
So why are games so appealing and addictive? Dr. Doan shared important neurological effects that video games have on the brain, that are often overlooked by players. Here are three factors of gaming of that often reel people in;
- And social interaction
Researchers have also found that music used in video games have an effect on people. “Feel-good neurotransmitters” are released throughout the body due to the sound and visual effects.
There are also substantial health concerns for addicts, including sleep deprivation, thrombosis and obesity. Dr. Doan tells us that games can actually cause pain-killing endorphins to release and people tend to use this technique to alleviate pain. Other health problems include weight gain, pulmonary embolism, and poor nutrition. In fact, in Asia there are people actually passing away right in front of their computers.
There are some proven benefits to gaming in moderation, however, the seriousness of this addiction is taking away lives and causing stress in families nationwide. Be a part of breaking the cycle of addictions by paying close attention to the warning signs, steering clear of enabling and reaching out for help when needed.