Despite being a hobby for most people, video games have been associated with a lot of adverse effects on people’s mental health. According to some studies, gaming does lead to anxiety attacks, being violent, anger, and depression.

There’s some truth that backs up these claims. There are two sides to the story. Spending too much time playing video games is associated with feelings of happiness as well as enhanced social behavior.

However, excessive indulgence in video games also has a negative side. Some of the negative factors include feelings of loneliness, low self-esteem, a negative attitude and mindset, poor concentration, as well as dysfunctional behavior.

Video games aren’t the cause of mental health problems such as anxiety, but they can act as catalysts and make the conditions worse when you’re addicted to them.

We’ll look at what anxiety attacks are and how video games relate to them.

What Is An Anxiety Attack?

You can suffer from anxiety when you develop fear thinking something horrible is about to happen. It’s a term that’s not medical-related, and it simply means a feeling of dread about a specific issue.

Anxiety has often been associated with fear, stress, and feelings of worrying. Some physical symptoms that are related to it include muscle tension. An anxiety attack mainly involves the fear of something particular happening.

Some of the symptoms you’d experience include changes in your pulse rate and restlessness as well. It’s often associated with a panic attack, but they’re not the same. The following are some of the common characteristics of an anxiety attack:

  • An attack develops slowly when you’re suffering from anxiety.
  • The condition cannot be diagnosed.
  • It contains physical symptoms, including a knot in the stomach or even your heart racing.
  • It can be triggered by a specific thing, including stress from work, not getting along well with people, a health condition, or even a breakup.
  • It doesn’t affect you as severely as a panic attack can.

Symptoms Of An Anxiety Attack

An anxiety attack is a strong feeling, and it will feel more potent than the feeling you get when you have butterflies in your stomach. It continues to get worse, and you end up feeling helpless and out of control. You feel like you’re slowly losing your mind.

It causes difficulties in breathing, chest pains, and a rapidly increased heart rate. Everyone can experience different symptoms when they suffer from anxiety attacks. For some people, they experience mild symptoms while others may go through much more severe symptoms, which include:

Physical symptoms

  • Lightheadedness
  • Diarrhea
  • Tightness around your throat or chest
  • Muscle tension
  • Shaking
  • Nausea
  • Sweating
  • Heart beating fast
  • Trouble being able to concentrate

Psychological symptoms

  • A feeling of wanting to get away from everything
  • You feel like you’re losing your cool, and you can get out of control
  • Worry and distress
  • You’re easily scared by anything
  • Extreme fear
  • Lack of proper concentration
  • Irritability
  • You feel like your brain isn’t functioning anymore, and you can’t think straight

source: WebMD

How Can Video Games Trigger Anxiety Attacks?

The primary way in which video games can become bad for your mental health is through addiction. If you’re severely addicted to video games, then that may lead to your anxiety attacks becoming even worse.

The real issue is that many people turn to video games because of problems they have in their real life. It might be a kid getting bullied in school, and the video game is the only place they can find peace and solace.

Video games can trigger an anxiety attack because you know you are doing something you shouldn’t be doing. The growing fear could lead to you worrying about what will start happening due to your actions or lack thereof. The consequences of your actions will be felt at some point in the future.

What Is The Relationship Between Gaming Addiction, Depression, And Anxiety?

According to a scientific study, people who are gaming addicts have severe problems with their mental health. They might also suffer from emotional difficulties, and their cognitive functioning may be negatively impacted.

The emotional state most video gaming addicts are in is linked to symptoms of anxiety and depression due to similar feelings experienced by people who have actually been diagnosed with a case of anxiety and depression.

These symptoms suffered by video game addicts are very similar to what you’ll feel like when you’re about to get an anxiety attack or get depressed.

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Fun facts: Oldest Youtube Gamer

If you’re interested in reading how to deal with video game addiction in children, I wrote an article here.

How Do You Get Rid Of Anxiety Attacks?

It may not seem so, but anxiety can actually be a positive aspect in some situations (source). However, if you have frequent anxiety attacks that hinder your everday life, it’s time to seek help. If not controlled, anxiety can impact your life negatively.

The following are some great ways you can use to stop anxiety attacks:

Stop Drinking Alcohol

When you get drunk, alcohol acts as a natural sedative. It might help a little bit to deal with anxiety for a short while, but it all comes back again when you get sober. It will come back worse. Deal with the root of your problems and don’t use alcohol to get rid of anxiety.

Get Enough Sleep

Lack of sleep is one of the symptoms of anxiety. Therefore, try and get as much sleep as you can when possible. Create an environment in your bedroom to help make your sleep process as easy as possible.

You could try some mobile apps that could help you with sleep. Check this article at Healthline to see some of the best healthy sleep apps for both iPhone and Android.

Try Meditation

The main reason why people tend to love meditation is the calmness and relief from negative thoughts and feelings it offers. It will help tremendously with helping to get rid of your anxiety attacks and stress.

Seek Professional Help

If you try self-treatment methods and they fail, you should make an appointment to see a doctor for an official diagnosis. This is especially important if you start consistently getting suicidal thoughts.

Conclusion

A video game won’t necessarily lead you to have an anxiety attack. However, when you get too addicted to them and end up skipping every responsibility, you’ll start getting anxious about not getting anything done. This can lead to the onset of an anxiety attack.

If you feel like your anxiety interferes with your life, you should seek professional help. Here’s a list of free helplines that you can call, text or even use chat or email.



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