Spending time with our screens has become a regular part of our lives. Some of us even joke that we spend so much time with them, we are addicted to our devices. However, gaming addiction is a very real issue for some people, and experts have determined that it is rooted in a mental health condition.
Therapists and other health professionals have become aware that overuse of electronic devices poses health risks. In 2013, Internet Addiction Disorder was added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV).
Gaming Disorder will be classified as a mental health condition in the 2018 edition of the International Classification of Diseases. The list, which is published by the WHO (World Health Organization), will include several additions.
Definition of Gaming Disorder
The draft form of the entry states that if someone has a gaming disorder, they make gaming a priority “to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests.” This is similar to other addictions, whether they include substances or processes.
Lure of Gaming Appealing for All Ages
Most people are able to enjoy video games as a source of entertainment and then return to their everyday activities. Over time, the experience of playing the games provides an escape from everyday stresses and strong emotions. Children, teens and adults can end up turning to gaming as a coping strategy to escape other problems or unwanted situations.
When someone becomes addicted to online gaming, they become disconnected from the real world. Over time, someone in this situation develops a warped perception of real-world interactions; much of their time and attention focuses on characters and story lines in their online game environments.
With the new classification from the WHO and gaming addiction being recognized as a mental health condition, more people will be able to get help. With mental health treatment, someone with a gaming addiction can re-engage with loved ones.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment
We often see people who have process addictions such as this also have substance use disorders of varying levels. This common occurrence is why we have a dual diagnosis program.