Is It a Recognized Mental Illness?
The next revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), set to appear in 2018, will apparently include “gaming disorder” in their list of mental health conditions. So far, the draft describes it as an online and offline addiction to video games, easily recognizable by a pattern of compulsive gaming behavior. Just like with any other form of addiction, patients play video games for unhealthy periods, feel like they’ve lost control, and put gaming above all other life priorities, despite the harmful consequences.
How Can I Help a Loved One During Recovery?
Most of the video game addicts are male patients under 30 – usually children and teenagers that are having a difficult time in school, whether socially or academically, and try to escape reality by playing their favorite games for hours at a time. If you’re a parent that’s worried about their child, the most important thing you can do is acknowledge it and not dismiss it as a phase they’re going through.
Before confronting them or jumping to any conclusions, try to keep track of their gaming habits and write them down somewhere. Include a timetable of your child’s video game sessions (when they happen and for how long), as well as their reactions if you try to limit this time. That way, you’ll know for sure whether your child is dealing with addiction or not.
Get Help Now
Video gaming addiction should be treated just as seriously as any other disorder, as it can have serious long-term effects on one’s physical and mental state. If you are worried about a loved one, don’t hesitate and reach out to a professional that can help you make the right decision.