'Candy Crush' craze too much for some

'Candy Crush' craze too much for some

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ATLANTA -

More than 45 million users play "Candy Crush" on their smartphones each month. For some, it's a quick distraction, but others say they're becoming obsessed with the game.

Sonia Guzman said her interest in the game started innocently.

"I used to watch my brother and my sister play all the time and I did use to criticize them…and then once I tried it, I was like, 'Oh okay,'" said Guzman.

Lining up candies, avoiding bombs and climbing sugary levels became too tasty to resist.  Sonia would squeeze in household chores while waiting to generate new lives in the game.

"Whenever they're like, 'Come back in 27 minutes,' then I'm like, ‘Let me cook while I get my lives back,'" Guzman said. "It's hard."

Sonia says she had to take a hard look at her habits after a conversation with her son.    

"He was like, ‘You're not even listening to me. You're not listening to a word I'm saying.' And I was like, 'Oh my goodness, how can 'Candy Crush' be more important than listening to my son," said Guzman.

But Sonia isn't the only one with a "Candy Crush" sweet tooth. The game's manufacturer reports earnings of $675,000 a day from players purchasing extra lives and access to the next level.

Kristen Klingshirn, a host on popular morning radio show "The Bert Show," admits that she too has a problem that's even affected her work.

"I was lying in the bed, I got so into the game. The next thing I know, I look at the clock -- I have 15 minutes to get my butt to the studio. Otherwise, I was going to miss an interview with Disney star Zendaya," said Klingshirn. "I was like, ‘This is starting to affect my life.'  That's when you know you have a problem and you got to cut back."

Klingshirn poked fun at herself in a song she wrote, but psychologists warn this may not be funny at all. Dr. Betsy Gard said the symptoms do suggest obsession.

"That they're avoiding or not giving enough time to work or school or family time," Gard said. "That they're spending money -- an increasing amounts of money."

Games like "Candy Crush" are being scientifically researched.

"We may find out that it is truly like any other addiction, a drug or alcohol addiction. That, in fact in time we may say it is a true addiction," Gard said.

Another concerning element is that people are spending real money -- in some cases thousands of dollars -- to feed their obsession.

"It may be that they need some professional help because sometimes we find that people are not dealing with the stresses in their lives and they're turning to these games," Gard said.

Most people can self-regulate and pull back from "Candy Crush," but there are those who really do need help. For more information, visit: http://gapsychology.org/displaycommon.cfm?an=1

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