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Addiction to computer games in adults: signs, how to fight, prevention


I often heard from friends that their friends, young people, husbands spend a lot of time at the computer, playing various games. Then it seemed to me such a trifle, which means that they cannot interest a man with something else. I saw such a problem as distant, happening to someone else, but not to me. How wrong I was. My husband also began to freeze all his free time in on-line games. First a misunderstanding, then an insult to him. Until I realized that it was a kind of disease, addiction. It is urgently necessary to get rid of it. How I cured game addiction in my husband - I share my experience.

The content of the article:

How to determine gambling addiction in a person - signs and symptoms

For starters ishe turned to a psychologistto better understand the signs, the nature of gambling addiction. There were a lot of them, they all were painfully familiar to me. Besides, they are well traceable, it is easy to determine a pathology in a person.

So, the signs include:

  1. Before the game - revitalization, cheerfulness, desire to finish things as soon as possible, so as soon as possible to plunge into parallel reality. Behavior, actions shout that he is in a certain ecstasy, a foretaste of the game.
  2. During the game - all emotions are aggravated, high excitement, emotional state improves significantly.
  3. If you need to exit the game, someone distracts him, requires attention, then quickly gets annoyed, anxiety appears.
  4. The futility of trying to limit timespent in games.
  5. At first, there is an occasional craving for a computer, but it is replaced by system.
  6. Constant promises a gamer to tie up, spend more time with his family are not crowned with success.
  7. The game as a way to get away from problems, loneliness, anxiety, bad mood.

The psychologist advised after consultation conduct a small test for her husbandto determine the dependence. There are few questions in it, however, it will best show if there is an addiction, and what to fear.

1. The frequency of games on the computer

  • Daily.
  • In one day.
  • When bored and there is no business.

2. The number of hours spent in games?

  • From 3 hours or more.
  • 2 hours maximum.
  • Up to 1 hour.

3. Can you exit the game if necessary?

  • I can not.
  • Depending on the situation.
  • No problem.

4. How often do you spend your free time on games?

  • Always or in most cases.
  • Sometimes.
  • Seldom.

5. Did the games interfere with attending important events?

  • Yes, this often happens.
  • Yes, there have been several times.
  • No, it was not.

6. Do you think about games when you are busy with ordinary activities?

7. The role of computer games in your life?

  • Significant.
  • Important enough.
  • I can live without them.

8. Do you immediately sit down at the game, how do you come home?

Now is the time to calculate the results:

  • Option "a" - 3 points.
  • Option "b" - 2 points.
  • Option "c" - 1 point.

8 to 12 points - expressed symptoms of dependence are absent.

13 to 18 points - possible dependence is traced.

19 to 24 points - Most likely, a gamer.

Why my husband is addicted to games - I find out the reasons for computer gaming addiction

I could not even think that my husband would have a computer obsession. It seems like they spent a lot of time together, common interests, trips to new places. But so it happened, now it is necessary to take only the most decisive action in the fight against this deviation.

The psychologist told me what could be the causes of computer addiction. The main thing in understanding why does a person go headlong into the gaming reality. Having dealt with this, you can in most cases help get rid from addiction.

Most common reason- individual properties of personality, character. For example, people who are touchy, vulnerable, depressed, with low self-esteem, prone to stress, usually get away from problems precisely by immersing themselves in a computer. They are comfortable there, convenient, nobody gets them, doesn’t bother with stupid questions. They are there find a place for their existence. Such a comfort zone, from which there is already no way out. Such people may have difficulty building interpersonal relationships in the team, at work. In a similar waynot finding other exits (but often just not having the desire to change something), they go away from reality, resulting in the formation of dependence.

Why is parallel, networked reality good? The answer to the surface is that everything is simple. There is a task a whole range of tools is offered for solving. And even if an error occurred, then it will not lead to negative consequences, for example, disapproval of the authorities, abuse of close people.

Second reason- non-acceptance of oneself as they are, because of this a feeling of loneliness and misunderstanding on the part of relatives. In this regard, a person is haunted by a feeling of tension, emotional exhaustion.

Another reason is closely related to childhood and the form of education.. There are two options here - hyper-custody or excessive requirements. Two opposite points, but they have a huge impact on the psyche for the worse.

  • In the first case - a man is not independent, his parents did everything for him, he himself cannot take a step. The game is simplicity in action, and a foregone conclusion.
  • In the second option - self-esteem is so low that the output is on the computer, where you can become a winner as many times as you like, asserting yourself through fictional stories.

It often happens that a person is not interested in the reality that happens to him. “I'm bored, nothing good happens, nothing to do” - typical thoughts of an addict who is looking for the thrill of sensation in the networks. He does not understand that nothing will change from such a whining. To do this, make an effort - to make life brighter, more interesting, go to a neighboring city, go to a concert. No, of course, it’s easier to sit at the computer and goggle at the tanks. And in this case, the game is a way to fill a boring world.

What can be attractive in the game? For me, the person who uses a computer to view news and work with the right information is nothing.

But for the gamer - this is a whole list of advantages:

  1. Having your own little worldwhich is available only to him.
  2. Lack of responsibility for actions and mistakes.
  3. Complete immersion and avoiding reality.
  4. Multiple the possibility of correcting mistakes.
  5. Possibility make decisions independently and influence the outcome.

This is exactly what gamers lack. And to get rid of addiction, relatives and friends have to make great efforts, spend a lot of time, make a lot of attempts to change a person’s worldview. It is difficult, incredibly expensive from an emotional point of view, and sometimes from a financial point of view. But it's worth it beloved man regained a taste for life, not computer, but real.

What to do if a person has gambling addiction - popular methods of treating addiction to games

There are many methods for treating various types of gambling. From the usual help of a psychologist and psychiatrist to non-traditional ways, such as visiting Buddhist temples.

I will only talk about those that help not only in advertising, but also in real life:

  • Psychotherapy. The goal is to eliminate the psychological conflict, socially reintegrate the patient. But the main condition for effective care is the patient’s consent to the sessions, the desire to cooperate with the doctor. Imposing, pressure will only give the opposite effect, aggravate the situation.
  • Group therapy. Everyone probably knows what it is. One psychologist and a group of people who want to be cured. They communicate, each tells his own story, reveals his emotions, discusses problems. This is a good opportunity to open up to people, not to be afraid to show what you really are. Because all those who came, we can say, are in the same boat - a boat of psychological, emotional dependence. But here, too, the main point is the desire to correct the situation, to return to normal life. If there is no desire, there will be no result.
  • Hypnosis. I know one person whom this method really helped. But those who offer hypnotic care services are mostly charlatans who lure money. So it’s hard to find a really able and knowledgeable person.
  • Drug treatment. Medicines can only serve as an auxiliary element to the main form of treatment. So, for example, various
  • Dietary supplementsimprove sleep, relieve anxiety, normalize the psycho-emotional state. Vitamin-mineral complexes are suitable, but it is better to consult a doctor before taking them.
  • Coding. I can’t say anything, many clinics offer similar services, characterizing the method as an awareness of the destructive effects of addiction, as well as those situations that may arise as a result of it.

There are many treatment methods, but in any of them the key to success is the desire to recover, to return to normal life. No desire - no cure.

How I treated my husband for gambling addiction - problems and consequences of addiction to games

My husband did not immediately come to realize the global nature of the problem.

  • The first step is denial. He did not understand what I want from him. Well, sitting and sitting at the computer, what's wrong with that? Yes indeed, it comes after work and immediately to the network, what’s criminal, he’s not a drug addict, not an alcoholic! I was offended, cried, screamed, cursed. There is only one answer - leave me alone, I will sit a bit and do other things. An hour passed, three, five - the fictional reality turned out to be more interesting. This period lasted a year..
  • The second stage is awareness. Once he asked me to help get rid of addiction. I saw that he really wants this, he was tired of spending time on the network, but he couldn’t do it on his own - he didn’t have the strength to share the problem with me. It was then that I found him a psychologist for the sessions. He joyfully and gratefully accepted my help. This is half the battle.but.
  • The third stage - treatment. It took us 20 sessions. Therapy turned him inside out, emotionally, he completely revealed himself, laid out to the psychologist all his problems. But the problem turned out to be commonplace - work. And the decision was easier than ever - to change the scope of activity. Which he did.
  • The fourth stage is a new life. The change of work benefited - the computer moved far into the background. Of course, he plays sometimes, but this is completely different, the emotional state has also stabilized.

My example is an example of positive treatment, when the addict himself understood and realized his problem, asking for help. In such a situation, it’s easier to cope together.. But there are opposite stories when a person does not want to realize, thinks that he is doing well. Then it’s difficult for everyone - family, friends, the gamer himself. The main thing is not to give up and believe in the best.

Obsession with computer games - mass pathology. It affects adults, children, adolescents. There are many reasons, and there are also ways to treat it.

Each case is individual, but if you want and desire, everything is fixable, and treatment will certainly give a positive result.


There are several factors that influence the development of gaming addiction. The personality factor stands out especially among them: an unformed or unstable psyche, a lack of self-control skills, dissatisfaction with real life, a desire to compensate for unfulfilled life needs make a person more susceptible to developing addiction to computer games.

The reason for the appearance of gambling addiction is also mental disorders. We are talking about various anxiety conditions, a tendency to depression and social phobias. Immersion in virtual reality helps people with psychopathy realize themselves and defend themselves from the outside world, feel important, achieve a state of psychological well-being, albeit for a short time.

Another reason for the development of dependence on computer and mobile games, some analysts see in the so-called reward system. A number of games, including multiplayer role-playing games and mobile games, involve a special game cycle. This cycle includes the reward of the player for the committed actions and encouraging him to continue playing. The expectation of such a reward causes a chemical reaction in the human body, accompanied by the release of dopamine - the “hormone of pleasure”. The body remembers a pleasant sensation, and as a result, addiction appears. The same chemical reaction can be observed when a person uses narcotic substances.

Some authors believe that gaming addiction arises from online games and is a form of internet addiction. It is also believed that some people have problems not from the game process, but from inefficient time management and even stigma associated with computer games.


Disputes and research on addiction to computer games are about the same age as the computer games themselves. In 1983, Barlow Souper and Mark Miller, scientists at Louisiana Technical University. first described addiction to an arcade game Pac-manlikening its dependence on psychoactive substances.

The essence of dependence

Computer addiction is an obsessive need to use a computer and the Internet, accompanied by social maladaptation of personality and psychological symptoms. The dependent person is characterized by an inadequate perception of himself and the world around him.

American psychiatrist Ivan Goldberg introduced the concept of "Internet addiction", but preferred to use another term - "pathological use of the computer." This is a broader term, it is still applied. This concept covers all possible situations of using a computer, and not just communication in social networks or online games.

There are three stages in the development of computer addiction:

  1. Acquaintance with the Internet and interest in its capabilities. Their application is relative to their life.
  2. The gradual displacement by computer of the main areas of life: networking (even some people can make money on games), dating online, buying and selling things, ordering food, virtual tours, etc.
  3. Almost complete or complete departure from reality in the world of the Internet and computer.

Regardless of the pronounced signs of dependence or characteristics of personality behavior, it is customary to focus on losses in real life, and not on the time spent at the computer. And losses usually occur in the areas of family relationships, daily duties, sleeping and relaxing, playing sports, talking and walking with friends, reading prints, hobbies, sexuality.

Gambling or computer addiction in adults threatens problems in family relationships, including divorce. Often there are financial problems such as unreasonable spending of money on a computer and the Internet (computer upgrade and payment for Internet services), due to taking loans and getting into debt (especially true for games in a casino).

Loss of Internet access or failure in the game can cause a person to have a state of distress, leading to nervous breakdowns and emotional distress. Cases of death due to chronic lack of sleep are known.

In the course of real communication and social interaction, a person assimilates social norms and values, receives experience and knowledge. With computer addiction and the accompanying social isolation, a person loses the ability to interact with people. A person can communicate and assert himself in the circle of similar addicts, but in other respects he becomes insolvent. For him, such categories as reflection, empathy, self-identification disappear, the ability to put oneself in the place of other people and to imagine how others see the individual is lost.

For those people whose profession is connected with working at a computer (programming, writing articles, creating videos and photos, etc.), addiction borders on workaholism, that is, one addiction goes to another and vice versa. It’s not only necessary to play at the computer to be divorced from reality. Regarding the health effects, all forms of computer addiction are equally harmful.

Features of computer games

Most of the games are built so that a person looks at the virtual space through the eyes of the hero, that is, there is a maximum identification with the character. It is this entry into the role that causes the loss of connection with reality and with your true "I". Gradually, a conflict develops between the virtual self and the real self.

Real life is rich in conflicts, communication with both pleasant people and unpleasant ones, disappointments and defeats, but there are also pleasant sides. In the virtual world, you can create 100% your most comfortable reality. There is a disguise of fear of society.

Signs of addiction

Signs of pathological use of a computer in adults include:

  • feeling good or euphoric while spending time at the computer,
  • the impossibility or unwillingness to stop work or communication on the Internet (in the real world there is nothing more interesting, more valuable or more important),
  • a systematic increase in the time spent at the computer (increased tolerance), the inability to plan a session at the computer, respectively, and other elements of life,
  • unsuccessful attempts or an unrealized desire to control pastime at the computer,
  • a lot of time goes not only to the work or game itself, but also to activities related to the computer (search for programs and browsers on the Internet, increasing the power of a computer, distributing information in folders, talking on thematic forums)
  • neglect of family, friends and work,
  • irritation, a feeling of emptiness and signs of depression outside the computer,
  • lying or withholding real activity (computer activity),
  • ignoring physiological needs, skipping meals or eating irregularly,
  • sleep disturbances
  • neglect of personal hygiene
  • using a computer, despite a pronounced deterioration in health, problems in the family or professional sphere, care of loved ones.

In addition, Internet addiction hinted at:

  • craving to check email or page on the network every minute, profile in the game,
  • the anxious expectation of a new Internet connection, which happens, for example, immediately after work and against the background of ignoring the household responsibilities of the person and physical needs,
  • complaints from others that a person spends too much time on the Internet,
  • complaints of others (family members) that a person spends a lot of finances on the Internet (many modern games require investments).

Physiological symptoms include dryness and redness of the eyes, blurred vision, cramping and muscle pain, joint problems, headaches, and back pain.

Two criteria are diagnostic criteria: the use of a computer causes distress, causes damage to the physical, psychological, family, economic, social and interpersonal status of a person.

The fact that we are talking specifically about the problem of dependence is also evidenced by the withdrawal syndrome, which is observed from a couple of days to a month after the individual has stopped "communication" with the computer. The manifestations of withdrawal include:

  • psychomotor agitation and anxiety,
  • obsessive thoughts about what happened during this time on the Internet,
  • imitating the activity at the computer of finger movements (voluntary or involuntary),
  • fantasies about what is happening on the Internet or what awaits a person when he returns.

Symptoms disappear as soon as a person returns to his previous computer activity.

Personal characteristics of addicts

It has not yet been established exactly what is primary: personal characteristics or computer addiction, that is, the question is open whether the computer causes the following personality changes or these features are prerequisites for the development of computer addiction:

  • perseverance and perseverance in achieving goals,
  • high intelligence
  • neglect of social norms,
  • developed abstract and creative thinking and a penchant for creative activity,
  • focus on the process of activity, but not on the result,
  • coldness and unemotionality in communication,
  • lack of empathy
  • conflict
  • egocentrism,
  • lack of responsibility.

It should be noted that these features are considered not only in the context of gaming or network addiction, but also in conditions of dependence on a computer for the sake of self-realization, self-development. If we assume that these features are primary, then it is not surprising that computer addiction arises - in real life it is difficult for a person to fully socialize with such a very contradictory set. Then a person finds work on the network, friends on the network, education courses on the network, etc.

Often, the development of dependence is preceded by an individual's opportunity and ability to regularly replenish knowledge and develop new activities, which serves as a source of self-esteem. Along with this, a person suddenly becomes aware of his own intellectual potential, new interests and hidden abilities or forgotten talents.

Read more about what attracts people to the Internet in the article “Pros and Cons of Internet Communication".

Reasons for addiction

There are several prerequisites for the pathological use of a computer:

  • low self-esteem, anxiety, tendency to depression,
  • inability to independently plan free time and life,
  • dependence on the opinions of others,
  • feeling of insecurity, loneliness and incomprehensibility,
  • the hardships of work, study, family, that is, dissatisfaction with my life,
  • search for new sensations and feelings, something new,
  • the desire to get support, to be understood and accepted, the opportunity to speak out, the desire to free oneself from real troubles,
  • the desire to isolate from the crowd and improve their computer skills, to become a "guru" in the world of technology and the Internet.

How to fight

Whatever activity a person does at a computer, if we are talking about addiction, then the goal of such activity is the same - avoiding reality, creating the illusion of security and security, restoring balance and inner harmony. The more a person is mired in the computer world, the weaker his opportunities for volitional regulation become.

Thus, getting rid of computer addiction involves complex work, starting with identifying specific reasons for avoiding reality. These problems are individual, but all addicts are united by a weak ability to adapt, impaired socialization, a desire to avoid solutions and avoid problems, and low stress resistance.

To cope with the problem, you need to remove the roots of computer addiction:

  1. Eliminate the discomfort experienced by the individual in everyday life, that is, increase resistance to frustration and stress resistance.
  2. Work to increase responsibility and determination. As a rule, computer-dependent people are endowed with increased sensitivity to life's difficulties, are not able to withstand the blows of fate, and deny their own significance in the development of life.
  3. To seek a change in the mental state and mood from negative to positive. That is, to find interesting activities for the individual in the real world and to form positive thinking.
  4. Develop coping strategies to overcome difficult life situations.

It is impossible to cope independently with the problem of addiction - the patient himself has an altered consciousness, those around him rarely have the appropriate competencies. To determine the true causes of the desire to get away from reality and their study, I recommend that you turn to a personal consultation with a psychologist.


The purpose of prevention is to help a person realize the responsibility for their own health and life, to make the person informed about decision-making and their consequences, as well as about the risks of the computer world. It is simpler to prevent computer addiction; every person can do it. Prevention of gaming and computer addiction involves:

  1. The formation of media culture and the development of personality stability to the aggressive influence of the computer environment (more on this in the article "Internet Security").
  2. To hone practical skills, socio-psychological trainings to increase psychological stability, reduce anxiety, increase self-confidence, correct self-esteem, develop communication skills, and overcome difficult life situations are suitable.
  3. Self-realization and satisfaction of needs in the real world, respect for oneself as an individual, following one’s own interests.
  4. The ability to express and regulate your emotions, relieve tension.
  5. Improving self-organization skills. Start small - make a plan for the day and follow it.
  6. The ability to relax and turn off the computer on time. At first, the computer becomes a means to an end, but gradually it becomes a goal. Set your limit for a daily stay at the computer, translate it into something meaningful for you. If the work is connected with a computer, then indicate the daily earnings, which will be enough. If you are fond of networks and games, then translate it into the damage that they cause - you missed dinner with your family, do not have time to read the book. At the prevention stage, you can still cling to it; at the addiction stage, no “transfers” will help.

The main rule for preventing gaming and computer addiction is to live the life you want. Of course, there are generally accepted social norms that must be observed. But where you have the right to choose and vote (work, relationships, hobbies, self-realization), you need to use it.

And, of course, it’s important to accept yourself. People run away from themselves much more often than from reality. Actually, therefore, reality does not develop as it would be desirable - there is no love for oneself and an understanding of oneself.

How to get rid, or save a loved one from addiction to computer games?

It is impossible to cure a person / child from addiction to computer games simply by selecting a toy or forbidding him to play. This is how to deprive a hungry meal, how to take water from a thirsty person. Of course, we understand that a computer game is a bad filler for a sound vector, like fresh oatmeal for a hungry one, but it is all that he has. Nothing but aggression and a complete lack of understanding, in return you can not expect. Moreover, the ban will only strengthen the desire to play, and by doing so we will push him even further into this very dependence. And if we also put pressure on the player, shout at him, force him to do something, strain him, then we, as if ourselves, with our own hands, push him into the virtual world. After all, there is not all this swearing and stupid fuss, because there - it's good!

It is necessary not to take away the game from a computer game addict, but to offer something that will be an order of magnitude higher, better, more interesting. If you give a person more delicious food, he will refuse fresh oatmeal.

Therefore, there is only one way to treat addiction to computer games - and it is not easy. A sound person can be pulled out of the game only by giving him answers to his internal questions “why?” and why?" By the way, you can literally distract a dependent person from computer games in just a couple of minutes, just by having a conversation with him about the meaning of life and carefully listening to his thoughts on this subject. And he will definitely find a lot of them and many of them are bad and depressing, which is not surprising for a depressed soundman. But attracting his attention with questions, hooking him with a “bait”, making it clear that this answer exists, gradually he can be pulled out of the pit of gambling addiction and lead to another life.

Where to look for these answers to the questions "why?" and why?" They lie in the understanding of human nature, the characteristics of all people, their lives, and most importantly - the very sound vector from which all these spiritual torments come. Yuri Burlan tells about this at trainings on system-vector psychology. He gives his lectures online, so that everyone can visit them, regardless of their place of residence. Free lectures are held every month, find out about the nearest dates here or by clicking on the banner:

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