Monday, November 28, 2011

Pathological internet and video game misuse

Jack Dikian
November 2011

Video game and internet addiction is becoming an increasingly difficult problem. Parents will tell you that it’s affecting the everyday life and social situations of adolescents and young adults. As well, it can hinder a child's learning skills, cause real life problem solving to become more difficult, and cause a child to spend far less time with family and friends.

More and more families are flooding psychiatrists with pleas for help for children hooked on Video games and the Internet.

The condition, now known as "pathological internet misuse" is growing so rapidly among adolescents and young adults that it could soon be formally recognised as a mental health disorder.

Video game addiction is excessive or compulsive use of internet, computer and video games that interferes with daily life. Instances have been reported in which users play compulsively, isolating themselves from family and friends or from other forms of social contact, and focus almost entirely on in-game achievements rather than other life events.

There is no formal diagnosis of video game addiction in current medical or psychological literature, albeit, Inclusion of it as a psychological disorder has been proposed and rejected for the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

In Australia, a website would be launched this week to help carers, families and counsellors address the growing and complex problem of internet and gaming (video) addiction. The Network for Internet Investigation and Research in Australia will be run by specialists with a "common passion in assessing, treating, researching and educating the public and professionals" about internet addictions.

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