As of this January 1, 2022, video game addiction is considered a disease by the World Health Organization (WHO), who classified this condition as a rare disorder that can cause “significant deficiency in personal, family, social, educational, occupational and other areas.”
In the 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), the WHO defined video game addiction as a pattern of persistent or recurring gambling behavior to the digital games or video games, which can be online or offline.
Among its main manifestations of alert they find each other:
- Poor control over the game, either in its beginning, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, or context.
- Priority given to the game to the extent that the game prevails over other interests in life and daily activities.
- Continuation or intensification of the game despite the occurrence of negative consequences.
How do you know if it is a video game addiction?
Video game addiction maintains a pattern of behavior that can be continuous or episodic and recurring, and results in a marked distress or a significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational functioning and in other important areas of people’s lives.
But nevertheless, the disorder is not sudden, Rather, it is considered a diagnosis when negative behavior lasts more than 12 months and dominates the player’s entire life, often to the detriment of a healthy diet and good physical condition.
“If players avoid other responsible behaviors, like going to work, school or doing homework, then they are starting to have a problem,” said Scott Bea, a psychologist at the Cleveland Clinic, who added that “if relationships are suffering due to excessive gambling behaviors, this may be a sign of trouble.”
Experts indicate that people prone to other mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, the most vulnerable to relying on games to produce changes in brain chemistry make them feel good temporarily.
Nevertheless, teens and young adults are most at risk, and have greater difficulties in judging the negative effects of gambling behavior.
“The last part of our brain to fully develop is designed to help us make good decisions, better predict the outcome of our behaviors, and measure possible consequences more effectively. It is believed that around the age of 25, our brain is more developed ”, explains Dr. Drink, “even so, gambling disorder can still occur at almost any age ”.
How to deal with video game addiction?
Specialists suggest how a way to cope with video game addiction establish limits of use or in some cases, the total abstinence.
And they caution that, like other compulsive or addictive behaviors, it is often difficult for people who have struggled with a specific behavior to develop greater control over it. “
Why the addiction to video games?
People often become addicted to video games because the reward occurs intermittently and is unpredictableUnlike chemical addictions to alcohol or drugs, in which the brain is boosted each time, Bea said.
“This keeps players actively looking for the good feeling that occurs in the brain when they reach a new goal or successfully complete a goal.”