Can Gaming Cause Anxiety?
Whether online gaming causes anxiety is a hotly debated topic. Some say that online gaming can lead to addiction and social isolation, which can increase anxiety levels. Others argue that online gaming can provide a much-needed outlet for people who are struggling with anxiety, and can even help them to cope with their condition. So, who is right?
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome. There is no one answer to how anxiety is developed as anxiety can be caused by a variety of factors, both genetic and environmental. However, some experts believe that anxiety may be caused by a combination of factors, including brain chemistry, personality, and life experiences.
People become anxious when gaming due to a number of factors. Some people may become anxious while gaming because of the fear of failure or not being good enough. Others may become anxious due to the fear of missing out on something important or fun. Additionally, some people may become anxious due to the feeling of being isolated from others while gaming. Gaming can also be very stimulating and cause a person to become overwhelmed. Equally, gaming can also be used as a tool to regulate anxiety through escapism. This may, in some cases, lead to addictive behaviour as the person feels like they need to keep playing in order to relieve stress or anxiety.
How to tell if your gaming habit is causing anxiety
If you find that your gaming habit is causing anxiety, there are a few things you can do to help ease your anxiety. First, try to cut back on the amount of time you spend gaming. Secondly, try to find other activities that you enjoy and can do to help take your mind off of gaming. Should you feel that you can't cut back, it is worth talking through your situation with a family member, friend, or one of our team. Finally, if you are having trouble managing your anxiety, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional.
If you find that gaming is impacting your daily life in a negative way, it may be time to consider seeking help. Some signs that your gaming habits are causing anxiety include:
-You feel like you need to play to relieve stress or feel happy
-You spend more time gaming than you do socializing or taking care of responsibilities
-You miss work, school, or other important obligations because of gaming
-You neglect your personal hygiene or health due to gaming
-You feel irritable, restless, or moody when you can't game
Ways to manage gaming-related anxiety
- Talk to someone who understands
If you're feeling anxious about gaming, it can be helpful to talk to someone who understands what you're going through. This could be a friend, family member, or therapist.
2. Create a healthy lifestyle
Make sure to create healthy habits for yourself outside of gaming. This includes eating well, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
3. Set limits
It's important to set limits for yourself when it comes to gaming. This may mean only playing for a certain amount of time each day or week. Having set limits can help you avoid feeling overwhelmed or anxious about gaming.
4. Take breaks
If you start to feel anxious while gaming, take a break. Step away from the game and do something else for a little while. This can help you reset and come back feeling refreshed.
5. Seek professional help
If you're struggling to manage your anxiety on your own, seek professional help. A therapist can work with you to develop healthy coping mechanisms and manage your anxiety in a more holistic way.
The scientific evidence around gaming and anxiety is conflicted. Some studies suggest that gaming can help ease anxiety, while other studies suggest that gaming can exacerbate anxiety. The most robust evidence currently available suggests... It is unlikely that a definitive answer will ever emerge to this question. Gaming is too diverse and pooling all genres together is unlikely to provide a clear solution. If you're feeling anxious and you're concerned gaming might be responsible or contributing to these feelings, speak to us and we'll be happy to discuss your situation in a non-judgemental and supportive way.