Getting beatin at the fight with addiction sucks! The American Psychiatric Association decided that enough evidence exists to include video game addiction as a diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as internet gaming addiction.
APA suggests the effects (or symptoms) of video game addiction may be similar to those of other proposed psychological addictions. Video game addiction may be like compulsive gambling, an impulse control disorder.
Internet Gaming Disorder is a “Condition for Further Study” in the DSM-5 (APA 2013). This means that it is not an “official” disorder in the DSM, but one on which the AmericanPsychiatric Association request additional research. Upon further research, the APA may or may not decide to make the disorder “official” in future editions of the DSM.
The DSM-5 states that Internet Gaming Disorder is most common in male adolescents 12 to 20 years of age. According to studies it is thought that Internet Gaming Disorder is more prevalent in Asian countries than in North America and Europe (APA, 2013).
In summary, the diagnostic criteria for Internet Gaming Disorder include:
1. Repetitive use of Internet-based games, often with other players, that leads to significant issues with functioning. Five of the following criteria must be met within one year:
- Preoccupation or obsession with Internet games.
- Withdrawal symptoms when not playing Internet games.
- A build-up of tolerance–more time needs to be spent playing the games.
- The person has tried to stop or curb playing Internet games, but has failed to do so.
- The person has had a loss of interest in other life activities, such as hobbies.
- A person has had continued overuse of Internet games even with the knowledge of how much they impact a person’s life.
- The person lied to others about his or her Internet game usage.
- The person uses Internet games to relieve anxiety or guilt–it’s a way to escape.
- The person has lost or put at risk and opportunity or relationship because of Internet games.
There is a GREAT interactive article at NYTimes.