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Description: How much video/online gaming do you do? Would it surprise you to hear that over half of North American adults and many more children do this regularly? Would it surprise you to hear that people are doing more of this during these times of Covid-19 than ever before? Do you think we should worry about this? Well, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) of the American Psychiatric Association seriously considered adding a gaming disorder to its most recent edition (2013) and while they did not do this this time it was noted as an area that needed to be closely watched and towards which more research should be directed. The World Health Organization’s International Classification of Disease in its eleventh revision (ICD-11, 2019) added a gaming disorder. Among other things the debate about gaming disorders turns on whether such things might or should be included into general definitions of addiction. If you look at the publication dates of the two diagnostic compendiums noted about you can see the direction in which this debate is moving and, as with many, many things in these times of Covid-19, mental health concerns over video gaming are jumping up quickly. Think about what the signs and symptoms, the diagnostic criteria, of a gaming disorder might involve (e.g., what sorts of behaviors over what periods of time) and then have a look at the linked article to see how they are laid in the ICD-11 and considered by the DSM.

Source: How Much is Too Much? When Video Gaming Becomes a Disorder, Dalanna Burris, Mind Matters from Menninger, Psychology Today.

Date: December 9, 2020

Photo Credit: Image by Colin Behrens from Pixabay

Article Link:

So, do the diagnostic criteria make sense? If it did not occur to you while you were reading through the linked article, have another look at the suggestions for those who are concerned that they may have a problem with their gaming and think about the ways in which they are likely affected by the current pandemic conditions that we are all living with. Add to this the fact that accessing professional assistance is more challenging these days as well. Perhaps we need to look at the think about a tele-health model for therapy with clinical Psychologists. Like we need anything else to wonder or worry about these days.

Questions for Discussion:

  1. Does a gaming disorder make sense to you?
  2. What might account for the different decisions regarding gaming disorders by the ICD-11 and the DSM-5?
  3. What suggestions might you offer to parents or to gaming adults in relation to gaming disorder possibilities?

References (Read Further):

Parents Together Foundation (2020) Survey shows parents alarmed as kids’ screen time skyrockets during COVID-19 Crisis Link

Online Gamers Anonymous Link

Petry, N. M., & O’Brien, C. P. (2013). Internet gaming disorder and the DSM‐5. Link

Przybylski, A. K., Weinstein, N., & Murayama, K. (2017). Internet gaming disorder: Investigating the clinical relevance of a new phenomenon. American Journal of Psychiatry, 174(3), 230-236. Link

Petry, N. M., Rehbein, F., Gentile, D. A., Lemmens, J. S., Rumpf, H. J., Mößle, T., … & Auriacombe, M. (2014). An international consensus for assessing internet gaming disorder using the new DSM‐5 approach. Addiction, 109(9), 1399-1406. Link

Griffiths, M. D., Van Rooij, A. J., Kardefelt-Winther, D., Starcevic, V., Király, O., Pallesen, S., … & King, D. L. (2016). Working towards an international consensus on criteria for assessing Internet gaming disorder: A critical commentary on Petry et al.(2014). Addiction (Abingdon, England), 111(1), 167. Link

King, D. L., Delfabbro, P. H., Potenza, M. N., Demetrovics, Z., Billieux, J., & Brand, M. (2018). Internet gaming disorder should qualify as a mental disorder. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 52(7), 615-617. Link

Pontes, H. M., Schivinski, B., Sindermann, C., Li, M., Becker, B., Zhou, M., & Montag, C. (2019). Measurement and conceptualization of Gaming Disorder according to the World Health Organization framework: The development of the Gaming Disorder Test. International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction, 1-21. Link