20+ Years Experience

Specialist Addiction Rehab

Gaming Addiction

Get Professional Help Today

Gaming addiction, also known as internet gaming disorder, is a condition characterised by excessive and compulsive use of video games, leading to negative consequences in various aspects of life. It is a growing concern, especially among adolescents and young adults, as the availability and popularity of online video games continue to increase.

Video game addiction can be diagnosed by a trained mental health professional by assessing the individual’s symptoms and their impact on their daily life. Treatment options for gaming addiction can include therapy and counselling, medications, support groups, and lifestyle changes.

Find Out More

Prevention of gaming addiction is crucial in addressing this issue. Setting time limits, encouraging other activities, monitoring screen time, and communicating openly about gaming habits are some ways to prevent or address video game addiction in oneself or a loved one.

With proper treatment and support, video game addiction can be managed, and individuals can regain control of their lives.

Contact our team today using the enquiry form provided. We provide addiction treatment in Hampshire, Devon, London, Manchester, Norfolk and more.

What Is Gaming Addiction?

Gaming addiction, also known as gaming disorder, is a compulsive and excessive indulgence in online games that leads to negative consequences.

It is characterised by an inability to control gaming habits, prioritising gaming over other activities, and experiencing withdrawal symptoms when not playing video games.

Gaming addiction can have detrimental effects on mental health, relationships, and daily functioning. It is important to recognise the signs of video game addiction and seek help if needed to regain control and establish a healthy balance between gaming and other aspects of life.

Signs and Symptoms of Gaming Addiction

Gaming addiction can have detrimental effects on individuals, affecting their physical and mental health, relationships, and daily functioning. Recognising the signs and symptoms of video game addiction is crucial for early intervention. These may include:

If you or someone you know is experiencing these signs, seeking professional help is essential for effective gaming addiction treatment.

Causes of Gaming Addiction

Gaming addiction can be caused by various factors, including psychological, social, and environmental elements. Some possible causes include:

  1. Escapism: Gaming offers an immersive virtual world that allows individuals to escape from real-life problems or stressors.
  2. Socialisation: Gaming can provide a sense of belonging and social interaction, especially for those who struggle with socialising in the real world.
  3. Rewards and achievements: The constant rewards and achievements in online games can lead to a dopamine rush, creating a cycle of seeking more gaming experiences.
  4. Emotional regulation: Gaming can be a way to cope with negative emotions or to regulate mood and self-esteem.
  5. Accessibility: The easy access to computer games through smartphones, computers, and consoles makes it more convenient for individuals to engage excessively.

Understanding these causes can help in developing effective strategies for preventing and treating video game addiction.

Contact Us

Is There a Genetic Component to Gaming Addiction?

There is evidence suggesting a genetic component to gaming addiction. Research has shown that certain genetic factors can influence the development of addictive behaviours, including video game addiction.

A study conducted on twins found that genetic factors accounted for around 66% of the variance in gaming addiction symptoms. This suggests that individuals with a family history of addiction may be more susceptible to developing video game addiction.

However, it’s important to note that genetics alone do not determine whether someone will develop an addiction. Environmental factors, such as the availability of computer games and the individual’s social and psychological environment, also play a significant role.

Negative Effects of Gaming Addiction

Gaming addiction can have detrimental effects on various aspects of a person’s life. These negative effects include:

Additionally, excessive gaming can lead to:

It is important to recognise these negative effects and seek appropriate support and treatment to address video game addiction and mitigate its impact on one’s well-being.

Does Gaming Addiction Affect Mental Health?

Gaming addiction can have significant impacts on mental health, affecting various aspects of well-being.

It’s crucial to address video game addiction promptly to prevent further deterioration of mental health.

Does Gaming Addiction Affect Physical Health?

Gaming addiction does have negative effects on physical health. Excessive gaming can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, contributing to problems like obesity, muscle stiffness, and poor posture.

Prolonged gaming sessions can result in physical discomfort, such as headaches, eye strain, and hand and wrist pain. Lack of sleep due to video game addiction can also have detrimental effects on physical health, including a weakened immune system, increased risk of chronic conditions, and impaired cognitive function.

Therefore, it is important for individuals with video game addiction to prioritise their physical well-being and engage in regular physical activity to counteract the negative effects.

How Is Gaming Addiction Diagnosed?

Gaming addiction diagnosis involves a multi-step process that is based on observable behaviours and symptoms. Here are the steps in diagnosing video game addiction:

  1. Screening: A healthcare professional assesses the individual’s gaming habits, duration, and impact on daily life.
  2. Criteria evaluation: The professional compares the individual’s behaviours to the diagnostic criteria outlined in the DSM-5 or ICD-11 for gaming disorder.
  3. Severity assessment: The severity of the addiction is determined based on the level of impairment and distress experienced by the individual.
  4. Exclusion of other factors: Other potential causes for the behaviours, such as medical conditions or substance abuse, are ruled out.

By following these steps, healthcare professionals can accurately diagnose video game addiction and provide appropriate treatment.

gaming addiction

Contact Us

Treatment Options for Gaming Addiction

When it comes to treating video game addiction, there are various options available. In this section, we will discuss the different approaches that can be taken to address this growing issue. From therapy and counselling to medications and support groups, each option offers its own unique benefits.

Additionally, we will also explore the importance of making lifestyle changes to effectively manage and overcome video game addiction. So, let’s dive into the various internet gaming disorder treatment options and how they can help individuals on their journey to recovery.

Therapy and Counselling

Therapy and counselling are effective treatment options for video game addiction. Here are steps to consider in this process:

    1. Initial assessment: A therapist evaluates the severity of addiction and any underlying mental health issues.
    2. Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT): This helps individuals identify and change negative thoughts and behaviours associated with video game addiction.
    3. Family therapy: Involving family members helps improve communication, understanding, and support.
    4. Group therapy: Interacting with peers facing similar challenges provides a sense of community and shared experiences.
    5. Individual counselling: One-on-one sessions address personal issues and develop coping strategies.


Medications can play a role in treating gaming addiction, but they should be used in conjunction with other forms of therapy and support. Here are steps to consider when using medications for video game addiction treatment:

      1. Consult with a healthcare professional who specialises in addiction medicine or psychiatry.
      2. Discuss the symptoms and severity of the addiction to determine if medication is appropriate.
      3. Follow the prescribed dosage and schedule carefully.
      4. Be aware of potential side effects and communicate any concerns to the healthcare professional.
      5. Use medications as part of a comprehensive treatment plan that includes therapy, counselling, and support groups.
      6. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the medication and make adjustments as needed.

Remember, medications alone are not a cure for internet gaming disorder and should be used as part of a holistic approach to treatment.

Support Groups

Support groups can play a crucial role in the treatment and recovery process for gaming addiction. These groups provide a supportive and understanding environment where individuals can share their experiences and receive guidance. Here are some steps to consider when participating in support groups:

  1. Find a local support group or online community that focuses on internet gaming disorder.
  2. Attend regular meetings or participate in online discussions to connect with others facing similar challenges.
  3. Share your experiences and listen to others to gain insight and perspective.
  4. Learn coping strategies and techniques from group members who have successfully overcome internet gaming disorder.
  5. Receive emotional support and encouragement to stay on track with your recovery.

Being part of a support group can provide a sense of belonging and empowerment, contributing to a successful recovery journey from gaming addiction.

Lifestyle Changes

Making lifestyle changes is an essential part of treating gaming addiction and promoting overall well-being. Here are some steps to consider:

  1. Establish a structured routine that includes designated time for other activities, such as exercise, hobbies, or socialising.
  2. Create a supportive environment by removing gaming devices from the immediate surroundings and replacing them with alternative forms of entertainment.
  3. Set realistic goals for reducing gaming time gradually, aiming for a balanced approach.
  4. Practice stress management techniques, like mindfulness or deep breathing exercises, to cope with cravings or withdrawal symptoms.
Speak to Us

How Can Gaming Addiction Be Prevented?

While gaming can be a fun and enjoyable activity, it can also become addictive for some individuals. In this section, we will explore various methods for preventing internet gaming disorder and promoting a healthy balance in one’s life.

From setting time limits on gaming sessions to encouraging other activities and monitoring screen time, there are several strategies that can be effective.

Additionally, open communication can also play a crucial role in preventing internet gaming disorder. Let’s dive into each of these methods and their potential benefits.

Setting Time Limits

Setting time limits is an important strategy to prevent gaming addiction and maintain a healthy balance in life.

  1. Assess current gaming habits: Take note of the amount of time spent gaming each day.
  2. Establish reasonable limits: Determine a suitable amount of time that can be allocated for gaming activities.
  3. Use timers or alarms: Set reminders to alert when the allotted gaming time is up.
  4. Create a schedule: Incorporate gaming time into a structured daily routine to avoid excessive and impulsive gaming.
  5. Engage in other activities: Encourage participation in hobbies, sports, or socialising to diversify interests and reduce gaming dependence.
  6. Enforce consistency: Consistently adhere to the established time limits to develop a healthy gaming routine.

Encouraging Other Activities

Encouraging other activities is an essential step in addressing gaming addiction. Here are some strategies to promote engagement in alternative pastimes:

  1. Explore hobbies: Encourage the person to discover new interests such as sports, art, music, or cooking.
  2. Outdoor activities: Encourage spending time outdoors, and engaging in activities like hiking, biking, or gardening.
  3. Social interactions: Encourage participation in social events and spending time with friends and family.
  4. Physical exercise: Promote regular exercise routines, such as joining a sports team or gym.

By providing a range of engaging activities, individuals with internet gaming disordercan develop healthier habits and reduce their reliance on excessive gaming.

Monitoring Screen Time

To monitor screen time and prevent gaming addiction, follow these steps:

  1. Set clear guidelines for daily screen time limits.
  2. Use parental controls to track and manage gaming activities.
  3. Encourage breaks from screens and engage in other activities.
  4. Monitor and supervise online gaming interactions.

By implementing these measures, you can ensure a healthy balance between gaming and other aspects of life, reducing the risk of internet gaming disorder.

Communicating Openly

Communicating openly is crucial when dealing with internet gaming disorder. Here are steps to foster open communication and support:

  1. Express Concern: Approach the individual with empathy and express your concern about their gaming habits.
  2. Active Listening: Give them a chance to share their thoughts and feelings without judgment.
  3. Provide Information: Educate them about the signs and consequences of gaming addiction.
  4. Encourage Dialogue: Discuss the impact of gaming on their life and relationships, and encourage them to talk about their struggles.
  5. Offer Support: Let them know that you are there to support them through their journey towards recovery.
  6. Set Boundaries: Establish boundaries together, such as limiting gaming time or creating device-free zones.
  7. Seek Professional Help: Encourage them to seek professional assistance from therapists or addiction specialists.
  8. Follow-Up: Continue to check in on their progress and provide ongoing support and encouragement.
Contact Us


Treating gaming addiction involves a combination of strategies, including therapy, counselling, support groups, and lifestyle changes. It is important to understand the underlying causes of addiction and address any co-occurring mental health issues.

Cognitive-behavioural therapy can help individuals develop healthier habits and coping mechanisms. Family support and education are also crucial for successful treatment. In severe cases, inpatient treatment may be necessary.

Overall, a comprehensive and personalised approach is essential to help individuals overcome gaming addiction and regain control of their lives.

Visit our rehab centre in the UK for more information.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is gaming addiction and how is it different from drug addiction?

Gaming addiction is a type of behavioural addiction characterised by excessive and compulsive playing video games, despite negative consequences.

It is different from drug addiction as it does not involve the consumption of substances, but rather the compulsive need to play video games for a short-term high or to escape from reality.

Gaming addiction is recognised by the World Health Organisation as a mental health disorder, while drug addiction is recognised as a substance use disorder.

What are the warning signs of gaming addiction?

The warning signs of gaming addiction include:

It is important for parents to trust their instincts and seek help if they suspect their child is excessively playing video games and showing these symptoms.

How does addiction treatment for gaming addiction work?

The first appointment for drug treatment for gaming addiction typically involves discussing drug use, work, family, and housing situations.

A sample of urine or saliva may be required for testing. Treatment options will be discussed and a treatment plan will be agreed upon with the patient.

A key worker will be assigned to support the patient throughout their treatment.

Treatment will vary depending on personal circumstances and type of addiction but may include talking therapies, medications, detoxification, self-help groups, and harm reduction strategies.

Are there any residential rehabilitation services for gaming addiction?

There are video gaming rehab centres that offer residential rehabilitation services for video gaming addiction.

These centres provide a safe and supportive environment for individuals struggling with video gaming addiction and offer a multi-faceted treatment programme designed and led by addiction experts.

These programmes may also include aftercare programmes to help individuals maintain a drug-free life.

Can underlying mental health disorders contribute to gaming addiction?

Underlying mental health disorders can contribute to gaming addiction.

Research has shown that individuals with underlying mental health disorders, such as ADHD, depression, and anxiety, may be more vulnerable to developing gaming addiction.

Therefore, it is important for medical experts to consider underlying triggers and provide appropriate treatment for both the addiction and the underlying mental health disorder.

Contact Us

Our Other Services

There are a range of other services that we can provide. Have a look at the list below for more information:

Get In Touch With Our Team

We Aim To Reply To All Enquiries With-in 24-Hours