How to Deal With League of Legends Addiction?

What is League of Legends addiction?

If you were to tell the average person there is such a thing as League of Legends addiction, you would probably have them laughing in your face. Although this might be demoralizing for people struggling with excessive League of Legends “use”, that is just how things are currently.

Since the digital revolution took place, we received a lot of great things, but these great things came with equally great challenges. These challenges are still puzzling a lot of medical professionals, and therefore we can not be surprised at the average person not understanding them.

Anyhow, there are a lot of people who have taken a crack at the issues we are facing, and they left us with a lot to work with. We will use their knowledge to find out how to deal with League of Legends addiction.

What is League of Legends addiction?

These three things can characterize League of Legends addiction:

  • Inability to control gaming time (Playing excessively)
  • Prioritizing League of Legends over more important activities
  • Playing continuously despite negative consequences

If you are exhibiting any of these symptoms, or all the symptoms at the same time, chances are you are addicted to League of Legends.

If you want to explore the issue a little deeper, you can ask yourself these questions:

  • Are you preoccupied with LoL?
  • Does playing LoL hinder your daily functioning?
  • Does it compromise your mental or physical health?
  • Does it prevent you from moving in life?

How Does League of Legends Addiction Start?

Stage 1

If you have been playing League of Legends for a while, you might have noticed that the experience was really fun and gratifying in the beginning. You could play the longest hours and still have a blast playing the game.

This is natural since engaging in fun activities causes our brain to release a neurotransmitter called dopamine. One of the functions of dopamine is dictating the amount of pleasure we feel.

What happens over the months and years of extensive gaming is that our brain gets desensitized to the amount of dopamine released. The only way to experience the same pleasure as before is to increase the stimulation, which is hard to do and is also unhealthy.

This is pretty similar to how coffee works. When you begin drinking it, a small dose will give you a buzz that will keep you alert for quite a while. But as you keep drinking more and more the body builds up a tolerance, and you need a higher dose to achieve the same results.

Stage 2

This is a level-up from stage one, but not the kind of level-up you would want in life. In stage two of League of Legends addiction, your brain will have developed a tolerance for the constant dopamine hits, and the game will no longer feel fun.

You also might notice this in other gamers around you. They might claim that every game nowadays is boring, or that devs have stopped putting out good games, all this could not be further from the truth. Games are more fun than ever, but the people saying these things are more than likely playing much more than they should, and that has an effect on their perception.

Escaping Negative Emotion

Now you might ask, why would someone keep playing if the game is no longer fun? The answer is simple, gaming suppresses negative emotions.

If you ever had a bad day at school or work, or you had an unfortunate emotional event, you might have reached for your computer and started playing League of Legends. If you pay attention, you will see how that can be useful at the moment. Focusing on the game allows you to temporarily escape negative emotions.

Some people like Alok Kanojia from HealthyGamerGG, claim that this can lead to Alexithymia. It is a condition that leaves people unable to recognize their internal emotional states.

So this is how the second state of LoL addiction and gaming in general works. It will make negative emotions such as anger, fear or worry sink down. You can learn more about this and healthier ways to cope in Alok’s video about releasing suppressed emotions.

Stage 3

This is the final stage of addiction. At this point, the game does not even offer relief from negative emotions, and it certainly does not feel fun. Still, our brain will be conditioned to the point that we will still want to play the game.

The worst thing that happens though is that the body gets physiologically used to the amounts of dopamine from gaming, which causes everything to feel boring in comparison. This can make you lose interest in other activities other than gaming.

Dopamine Detox – The Solution

If you have been keeping up with online trends, especially in the self-improvement niche, you have probably heard of the term dopamine detox. The term is often used by self-help gurus, influencer entrepreneurs, and coaches. Associating these figures with the concept makes a lot of people doubt the concept of dopamine detox itself.

The truth is, most of these guys do not have a proper understanding of dopamine detox and its medical basis. That is not to say that their approaches will not be helpful, it just means they will often add a lot of redundant mumbo jumbo to their claims.

In any case, if you suspect that you are affected by overconsumption of League of Legends or anything else that has a similar effect on you (excessive TikTok scrolling, YouTube, Internet surfing), there are definitely actionable things to do to improve your situation.

Here is how to do a dopamine detox, and what to expect:

1. Duration of the dopamine detox

You will want to abstain from problematic activities for at least two weeks to allow your brain to modify its receptors. The longer you do it, however, the more benefits you will notice.

Again, it takes time for the brain to get used to changes. If you were a smoker for a while, your brain needs time to unlearn being a smoker. The process is kinda similar to excessive gaming.

2. Boredom

You WILL be bored. Going from too much stimulation to essentially can be quite an experience. It would be unreasonable to expect anything but pure boredom. Try to remember why you are doing this though, because boredom will be very worth it!

3. Negative emotion

If you have been using League of Legends or other “dopamine sources” as means of coping with negative emotions, you can expect a lot of the dormant emotions to come back to the surface. This can be overwhelming, but working through these emotions will generally make you feel better long term.

4. The aim

The aim is to minimize the amount of fun activities and dodge the compulsive behaviors that you are no longer enjoying. Doing interesting things is fine, even tech-related things, as long as it’s done for an appropriate amount of time.

5. The End

After reducing the amount of exposure to overly dopaminergic sources for a while, you will start noticing the positive effects. All activities will be more fun, you will have better motivation and focus, and chores will become easier.

After this period, it is important to structure life in a balanced way. The games will become more fun too and will be easy to fall into the same circle and go through stages 1 to 3 all over again.

Author’s Take

I have been an avid gamer for over 10 years, and I have first-hand experience with many things mentioned here. When I was younger and careless, I would engage in gaming for long periods of time, and eventually, games would become really boring.

At some point, I figured out that taking big breaks can actually have really profound effects on life, and my experience was validated in recent years when dopamine detoxing became a trend.

This is why I would recommend a dopamine detox to anyone who is compulsively spending a lot of time online. It can really be helpful in “resetting the brain” to default settings.


League of Legends addiction refers to the excessive and unwanted compulsive play of League of Legends. It can develop when we are not being mindful of our playtime. In the beginning, playing is a lot of fun which makes it easy to go down the rabbit hole and go through stages up to the point where the game is no fun at all.

For those who feel like they are not enjoying the game at all, but are still playing it, the best solution would be to do a dopamine detox. A dopamine detox is a process of prolonged abstaining from activities that are too engaging and addictive. It rewires the brain in such a way that makes more “boring” activities feel more fun.

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