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Gaming is the new addictive disorder

by S Sharma | 03 JAN 2018

Gaming is the new addictive disorder
 Image used for representational purpose only

Gaming disorder is identified as a new possible disorder due to addictive behaviour, say experts. According to a recent report, India ranks 22nd in the list of highest revenue-generating countries from gaming-related businesses

 

 

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD) — a diagnostic manual that's published by the WHO — was last updated 27 years ago, in 1990. The 11th edition of the manual is due in 2018, and will include gaming disorder as a serious health condition to be monitored.

 

 

According to ICD 11 (beta draft), Gaming disorder is identified as a new possible disorder due to addictive behaviour. Earlier, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM- V) by American Psychiatric Association has already recognised Internet Gaming disorder as a condition for further study.

 

 

The understanding of Internet addiction is  still in initial stages in Indian subcontinent. No reported studies on Internet gaming addiction are available from India.

 

 

 “It has become very common in the clinical practice that many children, adolescents and young adults come up with complaints of excessive use of video games (online and offline). Most of them use multi-player online role playing games and multi user domain games. Any behaviour is repeated when it is rewarded, even winning a game is accompanied by such a feeling of accomplishment which has its strong biological basis. A reward pathway in the brain is activated every time there is a win and it becomes addictive over a period of time,” says Baijesh Ramesh, Clinical Psychologist.

 

 

It is important to understand that, playing games will not make a person have this disorder. “Like most individuals who consume alcohol do not have a disorder, most of the people who play these games do not have the disorder.  A persistent and recurrent gaming behaviour can bring in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. And this trip can be managed well with appropriate psychotherapeutic interventions,” adds Baijesh.

 

 

According to a recent report, India ranks 22nd in the list of highest revenue-generating countries from gaming-related businesses, thus highlighting the magnitude of risk faced by Indian population.

 

 

“Internet gaming can be called as a disorder when the individual has on obsessional characteristic to prioritise game playing above everything else in his life to the extent that it effects his general functioning and wellbeing. This gaming should be persistent or intermittent and should be of at least one year duration before we can call this as pathological. Depending on the individuals age it can cascade varying symptoms such as irritability, aggression, poor impulse control, mood swings, sleep disturbance and low tolerance levels, Dr  I. Bharat  Kumar  Reddy, consultant Psychiatry,  Apollo Hospitals.

 

 

 

In order to say one person is addicted to something, it has to fulfill certain criteria:

 

 

A markedly excessive use of a substance or engagement in a behaviour

 

 

This behaviour is given more priority over other important life aspects

 

 

Inability or difficulty to restrain from or control the behaviour even when the person wants to

 

 

Negative consequences due to this behaviour arise affecting personal, interpersonal or occupational dimensions.


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