Video game addiction 'not mental illness'

 作者:东门蛎     |      日期:2019-02-28 05:20:01
By New Scientist staff and Reuters Doctors backed away from a controversial proposal to designate video-game addiction as a mental disorder akin to alcoholism on Sunday, saying psychiatrists should study the issue further. Addiction experts strongly opposed the idea at a debate held at the American Medical Association’s (AMA) annual meeting. They said further study is needed before excessive use of video and online games – a problem estimated to affect about 10% of players – can be considered a mental illness. “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,” says Stuart Gitlow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, US. A committee had proposed that video-game addiction be listed as a mental disorder in the American Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders, a guide used by the American Psychiatric Association in diagnosing mental illness. Such a move would ease the path for insurance coverage of video-game addiction. But, even before debate on the subject began, the committee that made the proposal backed away from its position, instead recommending that the American Psychiatric Association consider the change when it revises its next diagnostic manual in five years time. While occasional use of video games is harmless and may even help with some disorders like autism, some doctors say in extreme cases it can interfere with day-to-day necessities like working, showering and even eating. “Working with this problem is no different than working with alcoholic patients,” says Thomas Allen of the Osler Medical Center in Maryland, US. “The same denial, the same rationalization, the same inability to give it up.” But Louis Kraus of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and a psychiatrist at Rush University Medical Center, says it is not yet clear whether video games are addictive. “It’s not necessarily a cause-and-effect type issue,” Kraus says. “There may be certain kids who have a compulsive component to what they are doing.” (see Hooked: Why your brain is primed for addiction) Addictive or not, too much time spent playing video games takes away from other important activities. “The more time kids spend on video games, the less time they will have socialising, the less time they will have with their families, the less time they will have exercising,” Kraus says. “They can make up academic deficits, but they can’t make up the social ones.” The AMA committee will consider the testimony and make a final recommendation to delegates who will vote on the matter later this week. The Entertainment Software Association, which represents the $30 billion global video-game industry,