Internet Addiction: video games

This article describes the issues people can face when playing video games interferes with their daily living and they are not able to stop this activity on their own.

“In May, the World Health Organization officially added a new disorder to the section on substance use and addictive behaviors in the latest version of the International Classification of Diseases: ‘gaming disorder,‘ which it defines as excessive and irrepressible preoccupation with video games, resulting in significant personal, social, academic or occupational impairment for at least 12 months. The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association’s clinical bible, recognizes ‘internet gaming disorder‘ — more or less the same thing — as a condition warranting more research.”

“The arguments against the validity of video-game addiction are numerous, but they generally converge on three main points: Excessive game play is not a true addiction but rather a symptom of a larger underlying problem, like depression or anxiety; the notion of video-game addiction emerges more from moral panic about new technologies than from scientific research and clinical data; and making video-game addiction an official disorder risks pathologizing a benign hobby and proliferating sham treatments.”

“A substantial body of evidence now demonstrates that although video-game addiction is by no means an epidemic, it is a real phenomenon afflicting a small percentage of gamers. This evidence has emerged from many sources: studies indicating that compulsive game play and addictive drugs alter the brain’s reward circuits in similar ways; psychiatrists visited by young adults whose lives have been profoundly disrupted by an all-consuming fixation with gaming; striking parallels between video games and online gambling; and the gaming industry’s embrace of addictive game design.”

I offer Internet Addiction counseling with an option to integrate Brainspotting Therapy for Addiction into the treatment plan. Schedule your free 20-minute consultation for more information.