Experts Say No to Video Game Addiction

by The Discovering Alcoholic on June 25, 2007

This story of a report out of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York questions the validity of the video game addiction diagnosis. “There is nothing here to suggest that this is a complex physiological disease state akin to alcoholism or other substance abuse disorders, and it doesn’t get to have the word addiction attached to it,” said Dr. Stuart Gitlow.

While this story seems rather insignificant now, it will not be considered so in 2012. That is when the American Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, a guide used by the American Psychiatric Association in diagnosing mental illness, is updated and begins to affect the path of insurance coverage for this particular issue.

Click “Read more” to continue the story…

My take on the whole thing is that of course video game addiction is real. In fact, almost any activity or substance can become an addiction. The difference between the drug/alcohol addictions and others is the all too real and life threatening chemical dependence and alteration that occurs in alcoholism and drug addictions. I think that is what Dr. Gitlow is referring to when he refers to the “complex physiological disease state”. The other huge difference is the collateral damage of drug and alcohol addiction (disease, death, crime, neglect, and death*) when compared to other addictions.

I am not sure that I agree with this report, just that I can see the point they are making. I do however think that society as a whole would benefit greatly by making available help to those with addictions of any kind. Group therapy, recovery resources, and just plain education programs would greatly benefit all that are affected by this disease.

*I know of only one reported death known to be caused by video game addiction and that was in South Korea 2005.

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