Need help with your gaming addiction? Now you can get support, thanks to the NHS.

How many hours do you spend gaming per week? The number may actually shock you if you really knuckle down and do the maths.

Personally, I play around 2-3 hours a night, five nights a week; racking up a respectable 15 hours weekly.

However, that doesn’t count how long I may play mobile games, or passively play Football Manager while watching the television. That probably bumps the total up to well over 25 hours a week!

Over a day a week on video games might seem high, but no noticeable adverse effects have cropped up in my life – yet.

However, everyone is different, and if your gaming habit is becoming a problem, then you could actually seek help from the NHS. The UK health organisation are now offering gaming addiction therapy to troubled players.

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World Health Organisation

Gaming disorder has been classified by the World Health Organisation as a mental health issue and is covered by the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases – meaning anyone can seek treatment.

The disorder is classified as having a “significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning,”. To classify, you would have to have been suffering from it for more than one year.

Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones of the Royal College of Psychiatrists told the Daily Telegraph:

These are not people who have been drinking for years. These are young new cases where their compulsive behaviour is impacting negatively on their home, family and usually their schoolwork.”

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Addiction is Addiction

Others have compared gaming addiction to gambling or even drug addiction, but as Dr Bowden-Jones points out, this is predominantly affecting young people. Nightengale Hospital Has provided a list of early warning signs to check out if you’re concerned for your own health, or the health of a loved one:

The Nightingale Hospital lists the following warning signs of technology addiction:

  • Spending increasing amounts of time on the computer and internet.
  • Failing to limit your time spent on the computer or internet.
  • Neglecting family, friends and other responsibilities.
  • Getting angry when others criticise the amount of time you spend online.
  • Withdrawing from other pleasurable activities.
  • Your online use interferes with studying or work.
  • You are restless and anxious when not online.
  • You will forgo necessary sleep to stay online.

If you think you are having problems with gaming or any other addiction, you can also head to the NHS website for more information.