This year the World Health Organisation has identified gaming disorder as a mental health concern.
Megan Hosking, Psychiatric Clinician at Akeso Clinic says that gaming disorder is the same as any other health concern. It negatively impacts areas of an individuals life.
With gaming we are looking at gaming behaviour. It leads to impaired control of the gaming itself. Prioritising gaming over other activities and therefore giving it precedent over everything else - all your other interest, all your other activities - and then continuing or increasing that gaming behaviour, despite those negative consequences visible to you and those around you.— Megan Hosking, Psychiatric Clinician at Akeso Clinic
Hosking says that gaming disorder can be classified as an addiction as it has the same signs and symptoms.
When it comes to recognising gaming disorder early on, one should look out for withdrawal symptoms This means that when there is no gaming happening, one becomes angry, depressed restless or irritable.
Feeling guilty when gaming and lying about how much time and money you spend on games are also signs of gaming addiction. This all leads to isolation.
If you look at the amount of time spent, you will start seeing the physical impact. Things like fatigue, eye strain even carpal tunnel - which can impact school performance, university performance, university performance.— Megan Hosking, Psychiatric Clinician at Akeso Clinic
Hosking says the amount of gaming is increasing each year and impact everyone from primary children to adults. She adds that there is very little research on gaming addiction in SA the in increase of gaming sales indicated that a lot more people are playing games.
They may not be addicted, but the increase is staggering.
Listen to the full interview below: