Guide for gaming and mental health

How can gaming affect my mental health?

Gaming can have a good impact on your mental health. Gaming allows us to:
• Relax and take time out from the pressures in life
• Gain a sense of achievement
• Learn new skills
• Stay connected with friends and family
But sometimes, gaming can become too much. You might find that you often think about when you are able to game, or you stop doing other things to game. This can make you feel out of control and that gaming is taking over your life.

Having a more positive time online

If you find that gaming is having a negative impact, here are some tips:
• Build your own positive community by connecting with people you feel comfortable with
• Check your mood before gaming so you can understand if gaming is going to make you feel better or worse
• Set up your privacy settings with what you feel comfortable with
• Find time for other activities you enjoy
• Look after yourself and your basic needs like sleep, food and hygiene

What to do if gaming becomes too much?

If you feel like gaming is taking over your daily life and you are not sure what to do, here are some tips:
• Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling and why it is worrying you
• Set a time limit that you think is reasonable and set an alarm to remind you to stop
• Write down how you are feeling
• Speak to a professional who can help you with your worries about addiction, sleep, low mood, social anxiety or changes in your behaviour

Gaming, money and mental health

As with a lot of hobbies, we might spend money on gaming. There is nothing wrong with spending money on our hobbies, as long as we can afford to do that.
Sometimes, we may find it hard to control our spending. It may be that we feel we have to buy items to keep up or spending money on loot boxes can give us a good feeling. If you are struggling, it is important to speak to someone you trust so that you do not spend money you don't have.

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