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Reasons WHO Dubbed Gaming an Addiction

The ongoing debate of whether excessive gaming can become an addiction has finally been decided by the World Health Organization (WHO). Up until this point, gaming has been thought of as merely a distraction with the potential to become a diagnosable disorder. More research and studies have been conducted to see the clinical results of what transpires when excessive gaming takes place. The conclusion is that the WHO dubbed gaming as an addiction. While there are gaming enthusiasts that may play more than an average gamer, a gaming addiction consists of behaviors that take precedence over a person’s basic needs and normal everyday activities. Criteria was based off several signs and symptoms that occur from gaming that the American Psychiatric Association found to be detrimental to a gamer.
  • Obsession or preoccupation with games.
  • Withdrawal symptoms when not playing.
  • A buildup of tolerance with how much time games are played for.
  • Failure in attempts to stop playing.
  • Zero interest in other activities.
  • Continuation in play after negative consequences.
  • Lying about time spent gaming.
  • Alleviates anxiety or guilty feelings.  
  • Jeopardy of losing relationships, jobs, or life opportunities.
To be diagnosed with a gaming addiction 5 out of the 9 symptoms of gaming addiction must be met. This quantitative measure is used to diagnose how severe a gaming addiction has become. As of June, the WHO included gaming addiction as part of their 11th revision of its International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems to become the international standard. Since video game addiction (VGA) is fairly new in being identified as a disorder, there is still question as to if the gaming itself is the real problem or if there are more underlying issues that divert the attention of the gamer away from the real problems at hand. Much like substance abuse, the factors of usage, compulsion, attitude, quality of life, and isolation, are affected making gaming just as dangerous especially for unsuspecting teenagers who make up most gamers.   While there are treatment centers that cater to a gaming addiction, it is considered a secondary condition. With limited amount of clinical research and meta-analyses completed, the solution to this newly defined process disorder is limited in treatment centers. Compared to substance abuse, gaming addiction influences approximately 1.9 percent of gamers. This number should continue to rise with the strides technology continues to make each year hopefully making treatment much more accessible to those who need it.

Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center employs a well-trained medical staff that is qualified to manage the stages of withdrawal for our adolescent clients. We offer on-site detoxification to help keep our clients as comfortable as possible.

Call us today to start living your recovery: 662-598-4214