There have been innumerable debates on whether video game addiction is a mental disorder. On one hand, playing such games, provides a host of benefits to the player, yet on the other hand, they have been labeled as a bad influence on people.
Now, a panel of psychiatrists together with a group of top doctors discussed the issue of video game addiction at the American Medical Association’s annual meeting. Here they discussed a proposal to designate video game addiction as a mental disorder similar to alcoholism.
However, soon after the discussion, it emerged that video game addiction is not a mental disorder. Those who were part of the debate felt that psychiatrists should study the issue further.
Dr. Stuart Gitlow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York says, “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.”
To recognize video game addiction as a mental disorder would require the final recommendation of AMA’s 555 voting delegates, who will vote on this matter during this week itself.
Dr. Louis Kraus of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and a psychiatrist at Rush University Medical Center said in an interview, “It’s not necessarily a cause-and-effect type issue. There may be certain kids who have a compulsive component to what they are doing. The more time kids spend on video games, the less time they will have socializing, the less time they will have with their families, the less time they will have exercising. They can make up academic deficits, but they can’t make up the social ones.”
You can expect several more studies to be conducted on the excessive use of video game users as well as on PC gamers who spend hours a day playing their favorite games.