Young adults are getting hooked to video gaming to escape from medical conditions like attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive-compulsive disorder and depression, new research has revealed.
Excessively engaging in gaming may function as an escape mechanism for, or coping with, underlying psychiatric disorders in attempt to alleviate unpleasant feelings and to calm restless bodies, researchers report.
"Video game addiction is more prevalent among younger men, and among those not being in a current relationship, than others," said Cecilie Schou Andreassen, clinical psychologist specialist at University of Bergen (UiB) in Norway.
Andreassen carried out a study with more than 20 000 participants who answered questions related to videogame addiction.
The study showed that video game addiction appears to be associated with ADHD and depression.
According to Andreassen, the study shows some clear tendencies as to which people develop addictive use of social media.
"The study implies that younger with some of these characteristics could be targeted regarding preventing development of an unhealthy gaming pattern," the doctor noted.
The study, published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors, also showed that addiction related to videogames and computer activities shows sex differences.
"Men seem generally more likely to become addicted to online gaming, gambling and cyber-pornography, while women to social media, texting and online shopping", Andreassen added.
The study used various criteria to identify video game addiction where gaming experiences last six months are scored on a scale from "Never" to "Very Often".
"However, most people have a relaxed relationship to video games and fairly good control," Andreassen noted.