Excessive Gaming is Becoming a Mental Health Problem

In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) added gaming disorder to the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The ICD is used by medical practitioners to diagnose conditions and by researchers to categorize conditions. The inclusion of gaming disorder is remarkable in that the impact on both mental and physical health from excessive gaming has qualified as a medical disorder. 

People with gaming disorder have trouble controlling the amount of time they spend playing video games and prioritize gaming over other activities in their lives. Furthermore, their gaming behaviors can incur negative effects. While some experts have wondered if gaming addiction can develop as a coping mechanism from depression and anxiety, it has been observed that video game addiction actually increases levels of depression and anxiety in children. This is concerning, for we are now seeing mental disorders on the rise. When the addiction stops, depression and anxiety improve.  

There are other side effects to gaming disorder aside from ones directly related to mental health. The disorder has been associated with sleep disturbances, low fitness levels, and poor nutrition. These can impact physical health long-term but can also exacerbate pre-existing mental health concerns.

The key distinction here is that participation in video games has to be excessive and cause dysfunction in several areas of life, such as education and social life. Gaming disorder only affects a small population of people, however, people who partake in video games should be aware of the amount of time they spend on gaming and similar activities, especially when it comes at the expense of their other daily activities or their health. 

For a person to be diagnosed with gaming disorder, their life has to be significantly impaired by their gaming behaviors for at least 12 months. Characteristics of gaming disorder include lacking control over gaming habits and continuing to partake in the behavior despite its negative consequences.  While the disorder can affect individuals of all ages, most of the research was conducted on adolescents, teenagers, and young adults. According to a different study, gaming disorder is more likely to affect boys and young men than it is to affect girls and women. 

 

Managing Workplace Anxiety

herrick lipton - anxiety

 

There’s no denying work can be stressful. For those of us who suffer from an anxiety disorder, each day can be a struggle to get out of bed, get dressed, and get to work on time. Those who are unsure of their talents and abilities may voluntarily miss out on opportunities that would put them ahead in their companies because they don’t know if they’d be able to fulfill the needs of the position. Public speaking and traveling can be difficult for most people to adjust to, but missing opportunities willingly can also exacerbate symptoms of anxiety disorders.

 

In order to mitigate the symptoms of anxiety disorders and manage anxiety in the workplace, it’s a good idea to be proactive every day so you can live a happy and healthy work life. It’s also important to realize that feeling anxious is a perfectly normal response to stress, but if it becomes overwhelming, that’s when you need to actively take steps to make positive changes for your overall wellbeing.

 

Be Self-Aware

Being self-aware means checking in on your own physical and emotional responses when feelings of anxiety arise. Be mindful of what exactly is causing your stress and try to see how you can make changes. Are you overwhelmed by unrealistic deadlines? Do you dread everyday responsibilities? Figure out whether or not you need to reorganize or if you’re procrastinating on projects. Don’t try and disregard your feelings because they won’t go away, in fact, they’ll probably intensify. Instead, try to pinpoint exactly what is causing the excessive stress.

 

Make time for yourself

When our plates are full and we feel like we have no time for ourselves, that’s when we especially need to carve out our day and make extra time. When we’re feeling anxious and overwhelmed, we’re less likely to exercise, but our bodies need it most at that time. Try hard to care for your mind and body by eating the right foods, getting enough sleep each night, and squeezing in some workout time.

 

Reach out to friends and family

Loved ones can be a source of guidance, wisdom, and support. More than likely, you have someone in your circle who is experiencing feelings of anxiety and a loss of control. If not, someone is going to have gone through it at some point in their past. Even if you don’t want to discuss this with friends and family, just knowing they are there for you can be a positive re-enforcement.

 

Seek help from a professional

There is no shame in asking for help if you aren’t managing your anxiety alone. If you’re struggling with an anxiety disorder and don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere, it’s best to seek out help in order to manage it effectively. A clinical psychologist will help you figure out not only where your stress is coming from, but how to deal with it so you can live a life that is not controlled by anxiety, but by yourself.

Everyday Tips to Help Control Anxiety

Everyone has experienced the overwhelming feeling of anxiety at one time or another. When you were in high school it may have been a big test that you stressed about the night before, or the day before start a new job. The anxious feelings you have before any big life event are felt by most people, however when you experience anxiety day after day, you should take steps to ease these feelings of helplessness and panic. Luckily, there are several things you can do each and every day to lessen the grip anxiety has on your life and gain more control of your emotions.

Write It Down

Try to figure out exactly what isJournaling making you feel anxious by writing down your thoughts in a journal. Journaling on a daily basis can improve your mental and physical health because it helps you define your internal thoughts and put them on paper. Write fast, and without worry about grammar, spelling, or fear that someone will find it and read it.

Limit Caffeine and Alcohol

Alcohol and coffee can both exacerbate the effects of anxiety. It doesn’t mean you have to cut them out either entirely, but use them both in moderation. Try not to have caffeine in the afternoon, as this can cause you to be up later than normal and affect your sleep schedule. Drinking too much alcohol in the evening can lead to a restless sleep. Although alcohol can put you to sleep, it’s not quality sleep that will have you feeling rested the next day.

exerciseExercise

We all know exercise has many health benefits, but it also dulls the intensity of anxiety. A good exercise regimen that includes a couple hours a week of moderate exercise can help you keep your anxiety in check as well as giving you a boost of energy and confidence.

Practice Good Breathing

Oftentimes when faced with stress, we will hold our breaths. When you feel very anxious, take a moment to focus on your breathing and take a few deep breaths. Try your best to bring your attention to your breathing and not think about anything else to give your mind a quick break and make sure you’re breathing properly. Deep breathing triggers a relaxation response, helping us to calm down and take a step back.

Try not to Dwell on the Past

Maybe you said or did something embarrassing or made a mistake. Try not to dwell on what has happened and definitely don’t let it keep you from enjoying the things you love. Chances are, the worry you have about a particular event is not even being thought of by those who witnessed it.