Gaming addictions are more common than you think and often require comprehensive support for recovery. At The Banyans, you can find a personalised and holistic approach to game addiction treatment and recovery.

A 2023 study reported that 81% of Australians play video games, with 94% of households owning a device for gaming. While many have reported they play games for harmless fun or stress relief, a survey showed that 52% of general medicine practitioners had seen one or more patients experiencing the problematic effects of excess gaming within the span of a month.

What is a gaming addiction?

Gaming addiction, now recognised by WHO as a mental health condition, involves compulsive video game playing that takes precedence over other interests and daily activities. Despite negative outcomes in their life caused by excessive gaming, these addicted individuals continue playing.

What causes an addiction to gaming?

The causes of gaming addiction are multifaceted, with a recent study linking the condition to other issues such as ADHD, OCD, anxiety, depression and social anxiety. Other contributing factors include low self-esteem, interpersonal problems, a hostile family environment, social skill deficits, psychological isolation, perceived stress, suicidality and aggressive behaviours.

Overall, it seems that gaming addiction often co-occurs with broader emotional and social challenges and in individuals with a need for escapism, achievement and social interaction. The immersive nature of video games provides an enticing escape from reality, fulfilling various emotional and psychological needs that may be lacking in an individual’s life.

Signs I have a gaming addiction

Key signs observed in addicts include:

  • Reduced social activity
  • Sleep disturbance
  • Antisocial behaviour and family withdrawal
  • Effects on academic performance
  • Weight problems
  • Violent or aggressive behaviour
  • Inability to maintain a job
  • Financial or legal problems

Symptoms of gaming addiction

Gaming addiction symptoms include:

  • Lack of control over gaming habits
  • Prioritising gaming over other interests and responsibilities
  • Continuous gaming, despite facing negative consequences

Additionally, individuals might experience withdrawal symptoms when not playing, such as:

  • Irritability or sadness
  • Neglected personal hygiene
  • Significant disruptions in personal, social or occupational functioning

Long and short-term impacts of gaming addiction

Short-term effects include sleep deprivation and neglect of personal responsibilities. Long-term consequences can be more severe, potentially leading to:

  • Worsening physical health due to lack of sleep and weight gain
  • Chronic pain due to bad posture
  • Social isolation
  • Academic or occupational decline
  • Serious financial or legal issues

Can gaming addiction cause mental health problems?

Yes, another study found that as problematic gaming increases, psychological functioning decreases, with mental health and self-esteem issues worsening as excessive gaming continues.

Role of rehab in treating gaming addiction

Recovery from game addictions requires a comprehensive approach, with effective game addiction rehab and treatment often involving therapy sessions, including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and other modalities aimed at understanding the addiction’s root causes and developing healthier coping mechanisms.

For more severe cases, residential rehab programs for video game addiction offer a more strictly structured environment for recovery, focusing on breaking the compulsive cycle of gaming. Programs may include individual and group therapy, educational workshops and activities designed to promote physical health and social skills.

What does game addiction treatment at The Banyans involve?

Game addiction treatment at The Banyans involves a unique and holistic approach tailored to each individual’s needs. Our programs offer a blend of medical, psychological and integrated therapies designed to address the symptoms of gaming addiction and the underlying causes.

With a focus on personal recovery goals, the treatment integrates various therapeutic modalities, including individual counselling, group therapy and activities that promote physical well-being and mental health resilience.

Recovery from gaming addiction is closer than you think

Explore our different residential programs or online treatment programs for those suffering from game addictions. With our comprehensive and personalised approach to rehab for video game addictions, we are able to treat individuals with diverse backgrounds and needs, including those with other conditions.

Learn more about our programs by reading our FAQs page, or you can reach out to us for more specialised advice and support.