There’s a reason I NEVER got into video games–Tetris and Pacman gave me a preview of how addicted I could possibly become! Those two games claimed hours of my adolescent life and I deliberately avoided video games for that very reason.

But ask any video game lover and they’ll tell you they’re not “addicted” but rather, they’re just “really, really dedicated.” Yeah, and a meth-addict is just “really, really dedicated to chemistry.”

Scientists have recently found that 1 in 10 children are at risk of becoming pathologically addicted to video games!

A preliminary two-year longitudinal study looked at the video game habits of 3,000 children from 3rd, 4th, 7th and 8th grade. They labeled children who played for 31 hours or more as “obsessive gamers.”

Obsessive gamers were found to be more likely to develop serious mental issues such as: depression, anxiety and social phobias.

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Obsessive gamers were also more likely to see a decline in academic performance  and have worse relationships with their parents.

Think a video game obsession is just a phase? Consider this: WebMD reports, “84% of students who were considered addicts at the start of the study were still addicted two years later.”

These findings are significant because many college students spend countless hours playing video games! If you’re a gamer and are doing poorly in school or are feeling depressed–this could be why!

A great way to see if you’re addicted or not is to use the trick people tell alcoholics to use–see how long you can go without drinking, or in this case, playing a video game. If you can’t last a week without playing a video game, then chances are you MIGHT be addicted!

Make sure to talk to a professional so that video games don’t hurt your personal life, family relationships, mental health or academics!

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