Yes, it can. Think about what ASMR is and how it makes you feel: ASMR videos get you relaxed, they relieve stress and anxiety, and they make you feel an awesome tingling sensation throughout your body. You may not notice it, but you may slowly develop a dependence on it.
There is little to no scientific evidence regarding such a widespread phenomenon like ASMR. The first scientific paper about ASMR was published in 2013, and only a dozen papers are now available to the public. There’s not much material explaining how ASMR works, let alone if it can be addictive. Even if the scientific community shows little work regarding ASMR, there’s plenty of information about addiction and addictive behavior.
Before you jump the gun and deem ASMR as dangerous or addictive, there are a couple of things to consider. What is your real relationship with ASMR? Are you showing any addiction symptoms? Even though ASMR may be addictive, you may not be in a bad scenario.
You need to take a deep, honest look at yourself and wonder: Am I addicted to ASMR? Remember, ASMR provokes a pleasant sensation. There is nothing quite like it, and it is of easy access – you only need an internet connection to get it. It would be fairly easy to become dependent on it, perhaps to the point of addiction-like tendencies. Bear in mind if you can stay for days without ASMR or sleep without it, there’s nothing to worry about.
The bottom line is, ASMR can be addictive albeit it’s highly unlikely. Overindulgence in anything can become a problem, and it’s best to take it seriously. Before you unsubscribe from all your favorite ASMRtists’ channels, make sure you are actually addicted to it, and not overthinking an improbable scenario.
How can I tell if I’m addicted to ASMR?
There are clear cut signs of addiction that can be applied to ASMR: you constantly watch ASMR videos, you experience no tingles from them (also known as burnout), you cannot fall asleep without ASMR and in worst-case scenarios, you feel anxious or depressed when you are not watching ASMR.
- Constant ASMR consumption
If you are listening to ASMR all day long, you might have a problem. Remember, ASMR is an intimate, personal experience. Are you trying to listen to videos on the bus, at work, during your commute? Have you stopped watching or listening to other forms of media in favor of ASMR? This might qualify as addictive behavior. There’s nothing wrong with doing something you love more than usual, but you can always tell when it is too much.
- ASMR burnout
Have you watched so many ASMR videos tingles seem long-lost? Are you constantly switching from video to video, getting worked up over not being relaxed? Are your favorite videos not working for you anymore? You might be suffering from ASMR burnout. If you are past that point, you might have watched way too many ASMR videos. You are probably developing an ASMR addiction – or have developed one already.
- Can’t sleep without ASMR
Remember, ASMR is supposed to help you sleep. It’s a wonderful bedtime (or nap time) aid for you. It’s not supposed to work as a sleep medication. If you are dependent on ASMR to fall asleep, you could have a problem. You may have trained yourself into a pavlovian scenario where ASMR is the bell that makes you fall asleep – and now you need the bell.
- Anxious or depressed if there’s no ASMR video on
If you feel anxiety creeping in because you are not listening to ASMR, there’s a problem. ASMR might help you relieve stress, or help you with anxiety issues, but you should never feel anxious because you are not listening to ASMR. You could call such a thing an ASMR-craving, and you need your “fix” to continue with your day. This is an addiction, or at least, addiction-like.
Is there any way to avoid developing such a habit?
Yes, of course, there is! ASMR videos are great, and even if you love them, keep in mind you should enjoy them in moderation. If you have trouble falling asleep, find an alternative you can use instead of watching one too many ASMR videos.
- You can go to the gym or play sports to burn excess energy
- You can take melatonin to help you fall asleep
- You can start a nighttime routine before you go to bed
- You can stop using electronic devices (your computer and smartphone) an hour before bed
- You can read a book when you are laying down
ASMR videos give you a more personal, intimate kind of relaxation if you prefer watching roleplay videos – and no matter how many books you read, there’s no way to replace that. Nevertheless, if you want to avoid addiction, that’s the best way to do so. On the plus side, if you stay away from ASMR videos from time to time, the tingles will be stronger than ever when you go back!
How can I cure myself if I get addicted? How to stop watching ASMR
The best way to cure ASMR addiction would be to simply stop watching ASMR videos. It can be tough to accomplish, but you can help yourself with something else to occupy your mind: a hobby, videogames, etc. Always in moderation, as not to replace one addiction with another.
If you are afraid of developing ASMR addiction, keep in mind there’s no need to panic. ASMR addiction is fairly unusual, and it doesn’t have any (reported) consequences in your mind and body. Don’t use this argument as an excuse to defend a possible addiction. Always take the situation seriously, but never act disproportionately on it. Watch for red flags. Take a break from ASMR if you feel things aren’t going as well as they should.
If you feel you are addicted to ASMR, there’s no other thing to do but to quit watching ASMR videos. You can also seek professional help if mental health issues are related to it (e.g., anxiety or depression.) Addiction can turn wholesome things into bad stuff, and there’s no need to make ASMR turn into such a thing. Always watch in moderation, and have a good night’s sleep!