Health Advice



Mayo Clinic Q and A: Children and video games

Cynthia Weiss, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Similar to tobacco, alcohol or drugs, screen time or video games can become an addiction if it damages your health and relationships, and you are unable to control it.

Some symptoms could include:

• Having intense urges for screen time or to play video games, and these urges block out other thoughts.

• Spending money on video games or screens, even though you can't afford it.

• Cutting back on social or recreational activities because of preference for screen time or video games.

• Continuing to play video games or participate in screen time, even though you know it's causing problems in your life, such as poor performance at school or work, or letting household responsibilities go.


• Displaying signs of irritability, anxiety or anger when forced to stop playing, even for brief periods of time.

• Lying to others about the extent of your use.

• Needing more screen time over time to get the same level of enjoyment.

• Neglecting your appearance, including lack of interest in grooming or clothing.


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