Video games have been around for quite some time now. It has become a source of entertainment for many kids and kids at heart. These video games have become a sort of escape from the harsh realities of this world, which is why it is no wonder that a lot of people spend lots of their time on these video games. There have been varying and often contradicting studies about video games and how they affect our mental health. Of course, like with anything, there is a positive study, and there is a negative study. Each study relays to our facts and details that support their claims.
So, to put everything into perspective. Let us first talk about the positive study on the effects of video games on our mental health. A study published by the University of East Carolina has stated that people should play more video games. The reason behind this is that when we play video games for thirty minutes a day, this helps alleviate clinical depression and anxiety. We are not just talking about a temporary fix. It has been shown that doing this for a month can rival the effectiveness of the medication.
The study also shows that these effects do not only show in children, but it also can be seen in adults. It shows that continuing to play video games even as an adult promotes a more positive life and it helps alleviate depression in older adults. So you see? Playing video games is beneficial to the player’s mental health to a certain degree.
On the flip side, there was also a study published that shows that too much video games or video game addiction are in itself a mental illness. The World Health Organization (WHO) has classified video game addiction as a mental health disorder known as gaming disorder. This is typically when video games have taken over the person’s life to a point where you start to become genuinely worried about their well-being or when video games have started to interfere with a person’s health, social life, personal life, or family.
As a parent, you can watch out for the following signs for you to gauge whether your child has a gaming disorder: First, they have lost their control over gaming. This may include the frequency, duration, or termination of playing video games. Another thing to watch out for is the increase in prioritizing gaming, which has started to affect other life interests and daily activities. Lastly, when they continue to play video games despite the onset of negative consequences.
We now know that playing video games is fine and fun. It does not necessarily mean that you are losing control of your life or that you would turn out violent because of playing. However, anything done in excess can be harmful to us. It is also important that we remember to make sure that we can control our playing time. Yes, too many, playing video games is a form of escape from the world that may be harsh or abusive. To a certain degree, playing video games is therapeutic, but again, too much can cause you more harm than good.
How then does this affect you apart from your mental health? Well, video game addiction has been linked to an increase in the risk of obesity, high blood pressure, type two diabetes, and high cholesterol, which stems from the lack of exercise and a sedentary lifestyle. You would also have difficulty focusing on your problems due to the fast-paced movement of video games. Lastly, this can cause seizures and repetitive stress injuries from the flashing lights and colors that may trigger epileptic episodes.
Meanwhile, it is also good to know that video games can help with social interactions, and it can help provide you with problem-solving skills through the challenges faced when playing. It is not all bad. It will always depend on how much control you have over yourself and how you can create a separate life from the world of video games and virtual realities. It is understandable to want to escape, even I have that feeling, but we have to make sure that we are not harming ourselves further during this process.
Every one of us should have a set time for ourselves where we can have fun and relax. That is an important factor in human life, it is a basic need, and video games can provide us with satisfaction and confidence that we also need to get to a healthier mental space. Most of the time, that is what we are searching for, and when we get it from somewhere, we always want to have that which is okay, but again, too much of a good thing can be bad.