Signs of withdrawal from video game addiction

Written by Dr. Andrew Doan & Brooke Strickland on .

The On-Line Gamers Anonymous website points out that some withdrawal symptoms that gamers can experience are very real and can be very extreme. I have experienced most of these symptoms in the height of my addiction to video games.

These can include:

  • Anger and verbal abuse.
  • Feelings of emptiness, depression, or relief.
  • Disruption of sleep pattern.
  • Fantasies and dreams about the game.
  • The urge to go back to gaming and try to control the time played.
  • Obsessing about the game for long periods of time.
  • Rampant, uncontrolled mood swings.
  • Excessive crying, fear, irritability, or restlessness.
  • Sadness, loneliness, or boredom.
  • Inability to find new activities or interests.
  • Lack of motivation or direction.
  • Excessive amounts of time spent sleeping.
  • Difficulty facing obligations.
  • Procrastination by using video games.
  • Feeling as though returning to gaming will solve problems.
  • Physical symptoms such as nausea, allergies, colds, hemorrhoids, dry eyes, urinary incontinence, and constipation.
  • Restless, unfulfilling, and taunting dreams.

In addition, sudden and extreme removal of video games has resulted in death or suicide.

The following video illustrates an extreme case of anger and uncontrolled rage when a game was removed from an "devoted" gamer.


The next video shows the same gamer exhibiting rage when playing a video game.

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