Video Gaming Problem Signs

Most games offer an escape from reality and allow players to experience new and impossible experiences. An obsessive preoccupation with games, at the expense of real-life activities, or obligations, shares some of the characteristics of addictive behavior.

Here are a few of the key warning signs to watch for:

  • Poor performance at school, work, or household responsibilities as a result of a preoccupation with gaming
  • The need to spend more time playing games or to play more intensely in order to get the same level of enjoyment
  • Inability to set limits on how much time is spent gaming
  • Signs of irritability, anxiety, or anger when forced to stop gaming, even for brief periods of time
  • Using video games as a way to escape stressful situations at work or school, or conflicts at home
  • Neglect of other hobbies or friendships
  • A decline in personal hygiene or grooming
  • Eye strain or migraines from frequent screen use 
  • Sleep deprivation or trouble falling asleep
  • Symptoms of physical or psychological withdrawal, such as loss of appetite, agitation, or emotional outbursts if the game is taken away