Updated October, 2018.

Man, I am really worried that my younger brother is becoming addicted to video games. I can’t get him to stop and he’s not focusing on his school work.


Addiction doesn’t have to be so bad Steve—I’m totally addicted to sports!

Not that kind of addiction, Harrison. The serious kind. 

 I am serious. I love sports, think about them all the time, I work at conditioning my body and I have a great time when I play.

Okay, good point, but I don’t think playing sports qualifies as an addiction does it?

That’s such a great question. We toss around the term “addicted” all the time. Like, “she’s so addicted to her cell phone!” But is that the same as being addicted to drugs? According to, “addicted” is an adjective described as…

“physically and mentally dependent on a particular substance, and unable to stop taking it without incurring adverse effects.”

In other words, addiction occurs when pleasure-seeking behavior turns into self-destructive, compulsive behavior. Harrison’s love of sports would fall more under the category of a passion. He’s not turning sports into a self-destructive behavior, so when he says he’s addicted to sports, he’s using the term as slang. In these sub-posts, we’ll be discussing the clinical term of addiction to substances and behaviors, like cell phone use (gasp!). 

Steve, although your brother may say video games are his passion he may still be in danger of addiction since you say that you can’t get him to stop and his school work is suffering.

To learn just what qualifies as addiction and how it develops, you will read:

What is addiction?

Addictive personality traits and belief systems

Other risk factors

Know your brain

Surfing analogy

The cycle of addiction

Treatment options

Are cell phone use and gaming considered addictions?

Bonus YSS: Debate it: Is addiction a disease?


Here are a few things to ponder:

  • Do you know what addiction really is?
  • What skills and habits help to protect a person from addiction?
  • Do you think you could ever be at risk for addiction or do you believe addiction is for other people, not you? 

Hopefully the next few sub-posts will help you to answer all of those questions.

Next Post:

What Is addiction?

Post Question:

Do you know anyone who is an addict? To what is that person addicted? How does it affect you?

Answer the post question here

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