Criteria for Addicted Gamers

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Andrew_Doan
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Criteria for Addicted Gamers

Are you or do you have someone in your family who suffers from video game addiction, also known as Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD). A gaming addiction can rob a person of their friends, family, career, and even health.

The DSM-5-TR notes that IGD must cause "significant impairment or distress" in several aspects of a person's life. This proposed condition is limited to gaming and does not include problems with general use of the internet, online gambling, or use of social media or smartphones. The proposed symptoms of internet gaming disorder include:

Preoccupation with gaming
Withdrawal symptoms when gaming is taken away or not possible (sadness, anxiety, irritability)
Tolerance, the need to spend more time gaming to satisfy the urge
Inability to reduce playing, unsuccessful attempts to quit gaming
Giving up other activities, loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities due to gaming
Continuing to game despite problems
Deceiving family members or others about the amount of time spent on gaming
The use of gaming to relieve negative moods, such as guilt or hopelessness
Risk, having jeopardized or lost a job or relationship due to gaming

Under the proposed criteria, a diagnosis of internet gaming disorder would require experiencing five or more of these symptoms within a year. The condition can include gaming on the internet with others or alone.

Andrew P. Doan, MPH, MD, PhD

My Gaming Addiction Videos on YouTube: YouTube.com/@DrAndrewDoan

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy, DHA or Department of Defense.