Whether or not video game addiction is a real disorder is a complex issue that is still being debated by experts. The World Health Organization (WHO) has added “gaming disorder” to its International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), which is the official list of recognized medical disorders. However, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has not yet included video game addiction in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), which is the standard reference book for mental health diagnoses in the United States.
There is some evidence to suggest that video game addiction is a real disorder. For example, studies have shown that people who are addicted to video games often exhibit symptoms that are similar to those of other addictions, such as substance abuse and gambling addiction. These symptoms can include:
- Preoccupation with video games
- Loss of control over video game use
- Continued use of video games despite negative consequences
- Neglect of other important activities in favor of video games
- Tolerance, meaning that the person needs to spend more and more time playing video games to get the same effect
- Withdrawal symptoms when they try to cut back on video game use
However, there is also some evidence to suggest that video game addiction may not be a real disorder. For example, some experts argue that the symptoms of video game addiction are not specific enough and could be caused by other factors, such as depression or anxiety. Additionally, some studies have found that only a small percentage of people who play video games meet the criteria for addiction.
More research is needed to determine whether or not video game addiction is a real disorder. However, the evidence that is currently available suggests that it is a serious problem that can have a significant impact on people’s lives. If you are concerned that you or someone you know may be addicted to video games, there are resources available to help. You can talk to a doctor or mental health professional, or you can contact a support group such as Game Quitters or Online Gamers Anonymous.