What is video game addiction? How do I know if I have it? Is video game addiction real?
Although the majority of individuals who play video games do so without ever developing an addiction, there are some who develop problematic video gaming behaviors that can lead to addiction.
To understand how video games can go from a fun, entertaining activity to a problematic behavior, we should know what the signs and symptoms. The medical criteria by the American Psychiatric Association in the DSM-5 for Gaming Disorder (AKA video game addiction) states that there needs to be a persistent and recurrent use of video gaming, often with other players, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as indicated by five (or more) of the following in a 12-month period:
- Preoccupation with Internet games. (The individual thinks about previous gaming activity or anticipates playing the next game; Internet gaming becomes the dominant activity in daily life). Note: This disorder is distinct from Internet gambling, which is included under gambling disorder.
- Withdrawal symptoms when Internet gaming is taken away. (These symptoms are typically described as irritability, anxiety, or sadness, but there are no physical signs of pharmacological withdrawal.)
- Tolerance—the need to spend increasing amounts of time engaged in Internet games.
- Unsuccessful attempts to control the participation in Internet games.
- Loss of interests in previous hobbies and entertainment as a result of, and with the exception of, Internet games.
- Continued excessive use of Internet games despite knowledge of psychosocial problems.
- Has deceived family members, therapists, or others regarding the amount of Internet gaming.
- Use of Internet games to escape or relieve a negative mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety).
- Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of participation in Internet games.
If you would like to take a quiz to find out of you or a loved one may have signs of video game addiction (AKA Gaming Disorder), click here to take our FREE assessment and find out.
Video game addiction is real, and it can severely impact the life of the individual and loved one who is coping with this addiction. If you or someone you know wants to learn more or needs help, we at Reboot & Recover have trained licensed professionals who are here to support you and find a solution to a balanced living.