Video Game Addiction is Officially a Mental Disorder

Madison Schneider, Staff Writer

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Don’t worry, I will wait for you to pause your game. Now just set down the controller because The World Health Organization announced in the beginning of 2018 that video game addiction is officially a mental disorder.

The South China Morning Post reported that the symptoms associated with “gaming disorder” are extremely similar to the symptoms that follow traditional substance abuse.

The American Psychiatric Association notes that the symptoms of Internet gaming disorder are so extreme that it affects a very small percentage of Americans. According to the WHO, the symptoms need to be present for at least 12 months for the diagnosis to be accurate.

What are these symptoms? The Week writes that “If video games are more important to you that your social life, your work, your desire to sleep or eat, or you can’t stop playing even after you have faced serious consequences for your behavior, than you have a serious addiction”.

“Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior, which may be online or offline, manifested by: 1) impaired control over gaming; 2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and 3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behavior and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe” (International Classification of Diseases).

What do you think of the newly found mental disorder? Share your thoughts below… 🙂

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