Gaming Addiction And Drugs Addiction Cause The Same Changes To The Brain – Research Socks Scientists And Parents
It has been almost three years since the World Health Organization classified video gaming addiction as a mental health disorder. But parents are still not able to digest the fact. In fact, many scientists are also criticizing it but unfortunately, no substantial fact has been found that can deny the research and bring some solid contrary results. So, we would go with it and tell you how to protect your children from the growing negative effects of video games.
Multiple solutions are in play but what you can use right now is the app blocker for the video game that is exceeding the limits of a safe level of phone usage. Yes, there are parental control apps that can help you very efficiently to deal with the problem. But before that, let us look into some literature and bring to light the truth about video games and their effects.
Gaming and Drugs
Looks quite odd. Yes, to us, too. But the fact remains fact despite our hearts wanting not to believe in it. So, research published in the Journal ‘Nature’ found out that the reward system that is activated through video gaming is the same as that of drugs.
What happens when one takes drugs? The brain releases dopamine as a reaction to substance intake which gives a euphoric feeling to the person. This is the feeling that makes a person desire drugs again and again despite knowing the harm that it is causing.
Yes, you are thinking right. The same happens when your child plays a video game. The achievements win, or some goals accomplishments cause the brain to release the same dopamine. Thus, that dopamine release causes the person addicted to the same process.
And, just like drugs, it is not safe to play video games day in and day out. The concerned person is addicted to gaming to such an extent that it causes a significant lack of performing in different domains of life. From social relationships to diet and sleeping patterns, everything is disturbed.
Here are the other ways through which video gaming affects the lives of people.
It affects thinking patterns
Well, people would tell you that video games enhance attention and intelligence. Very little of that is true. Games might increase attentional ability and quick decision-making in some cases but that highly depends upon the type of games people are playing. Most of the video games being played nowadays that contain violent content (like World of Warcraft) are not proven very productive in this regard. In fact, research showed that people who play ten hours a day video gaming have less gray matter as compared to those who play less than two hours a day.
As gray matter causes the ability to think, we find video games quite detrimental to the growth of the brain.
It disturbs cognitive development
The compulsion to play games causes an increased time spent before the screen. And excessive screen time is associated with poor cognitive development. It mostly is true for those who start using mobile phones at a very early age. The ability to perceive the world, learn new skills, think, and problem-solving, many abilities associated with the cognitive health of a child that is affected by excessive screen time.
Also, because most of a child’s time is spent before the screen, it leads to a minimum of time spent socializing and doing manual tasks. This again causes poor development of socializing ability.
It causes sleeplessness
Sleeplessness and many sleeping-related disorders are caused by compulsive video gaming habits. Research has shown it causes
- Poor sleep quality (being disturbed again and again)
- Delayed onset of sleep (spending a lot of time in bed without sleeping)
- Sleep apnea (breathing problems during sleeping)
- Insomnia (sleeplessness)
Sleeping problems are not disorders but mostly they lead to many other disorders and distressing conditions.
Having said what problems gaming disorders can cause, the solution we recommend is to seek help from some professional. If you feel your child has some tendencies of getting that addiction, use parental controls like the FamilyTime parental control app offers. This app allows you to:
- set time limits for the use of an app
- schedule the usage
- block an app through its app blocker feature
Go and check these and many other features on its official website. Bring back your child to a normal and real world.