Addicted to gaming | Video games and mental illness

Hi, my name is Siope I'm with Smarter Parenting and today I'm going to talk to you about some interesting things that are occurring in the mental health field but also with addictions

Now a draft was released this year, 2018, by the W-H-O the World Health Organization and for a new version of the ICD which is the International Classification of Diseases Now, they're considering including into the ICD, which is going to be released this year, something called Gaming Disorder Okay So what is the ICD Now the ICD is a guide that contains codes and definitions for physicians and for mental health professionals to know how to diagnose a person with a disorder or a physical ailment

Now, it's also used to help track diseases and diagnose further issues that may happen And this actually correlates because that's what's used actually to said to be sent to your insurance company So they bill through this code and they know exactly what you're being treated for And then they can decide how much money they need to spend on treatment for you Now, the last version of the ICD was completed in 1992, so it's been a while, but this introduction of this new Gaming Disorder has a lot of people wondering if it's a good idea, if it's bad idea, and within the community of mental health professionals they're split on whether or not this should be included or not, okay

So what is Gaming Disorder? That's probably one of the first things that we need to address Now Gaming Disorder, and I'm going to be quoting from reports actually that discuss what they're classifying as Gaming Disorder Gaming disorder according to the draft document describes a "pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior so severe that it takes precedence over other life interests" Okay So basically what it's saying if you are playing games and not doing other life interests, then you may have a Gaming Disorder

I think we all have a friend, or it may be us, that once we're in a game, a video game, we tend to want to see it through That-that seems to be normal But if it comes to a point where you're avoiding everything else in order to continue to play that game, then that could be a problem, okay Now some countries have already identified this as a health issue Many, including the United Kingdom, have actually created clinics to address this type of behavior

Now, it suggests the abnormal gaming behavior should be in evidence for around 12 months However, if you start to see very severe symptoms you can diagnose it earlier than that Now some of the criteria for the diagnosis include, impaired control over the game- over gaming So this means frequency, intensity, and duration It also states that there's increased priority given to gaming, right

And then a continuation or escalation of a person engaging in the game itself Now the ICD is used around the world and even here in the United States, however, for mental health professionals here in the US, we largely use something called the DSM Which is the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of mental disorders And that came out, actually the fifth edition came out in 2013 Now it said that Gaming Disorder was something that needed further exploration but didn't give it a very specific place in in the disorder

So you can't be diagnosed with it and you can't receive treatment for it here according to the DSM, okay So further study is is necessary and I think that that's where most mental health professionals and other professionals are trying to gauge or we can really solidify that this is a needed diagnosis Now, I will tell you that a lot of countries, and I had mentioned before the United Kingdom, they're grappling with this issue South Korea actually has a huge gaming community and because of an addiction that some of these people have, they've actually put restrictions into place for that There's a law in South Korea banning access for children under 16 years old from online games between midnight and six o'clock in the morning

So interesting that they've actually moved this to the political realm And that's something that if it becomes an official diagnosis could actually seep into the dialogue for politicians in regulating how this all works out Japan is another country that has a lot of gamers and they are grappling with this issue So they actually have instituted where players are alerted if they have been gaming for too long That they are playing too long

It says here players are alerted if they spend more than a certain amount of time each month playing a game So it's interesting that they can play and yet they're being notified, kind of like Netflix You know you get that thing that pops up, "Are you still watching?" So they're getting that too in Japan saying, "Hey, are you still playing?" Well you play too much, you know and they're trying to regulate them China is probably the other one and the big internet giant over there, ten cent, has actually limited the amount of time children can play on video games through their service So you can see that people have recognized that there is a problem, and there is; but, is it gaming disorder or is it behavioral addiction? And that's, that's, kind of where the debate is, is, at

Now UNICEF in 2017, so just last year, cautioned against using the concept of addiction to apply to technology Now others questioned whether or not this actually replaces behavioral addiction Now again, is doing the game and playing the game the issue, or does the person who's playing the game have a behavioral addiction problem Okay Which one is it? And by labeling it one, one thing, you know, are we discarding the real issue

For example, if we were to take the person who is diagnosed with Gaming Disorder and that person stops playing games are they cured? Or do they move to another behavior that's just as addicting? Whether it's overeating, sex, you know exercise, are they doing something else that continues on that behavior Are they, are they resolved here and they're fine, or do they actually transfer that to something else Substance abuse would be another one Okay So that's the dialogue going on between

There's just not enough studies out there for us to make a concrete and universal acceptance that this is the disorder Gaming Disorder is the problem Now the American Psychological Association, the American Psychological Association, did provide a provisional diagnosis for Gaming Disorder but there were some problems with it Okay They wrongly stated that gaming addiction is like alcohol or substance abuse

And that immediately set off a firestorm with people saying, well I don't know, are you comparing playing a game to using heroin, or using cocaine, or doing these illicit drugs Are, do, are they the same? And right now there are studies going on that are researching how games are affecting the brain, and there are some similarities and what is being activated and how the brain is responding to stimuli However, to correlate the two is kind of a leap and it's it's super unreliable to do that To make comparisons that are almost like apples and oranges, you know So anyway, just be aware that the discussion here in the United States is an ongoing thing as well

However with the ICD introducing this in, it's almost like it's interjecting itself into the American culture, because physicians use the ICD when they diagnose somebody So just be aware that that's going on Now, I'm gonna play devil's advocate at this point There is another side to this And I had talked about these countries having these issues

There are instances where people have actually died playing video games I mean this is a real thing that has happened I'm, for example, in 2015 a man from Taiwan, he died in an internet cafe during a gaming marathon Now he had been playing for three days straight, and autopsies reports found out that he had a cardiac arrest Now that was due largely to exhaustion as what they say

Now, strangely he died in the internet cafe among other gamers and nobody figured out that he was dead That was, it was weird, but the report said that nobody knew It was actually a worker in the cafe that came up and touched him and noticed that his body was stiff and then he called the paramedics and police And then, it was reported that when the police and paramedics came they were shocked that none of the gamers responded or reacted to what was happening And they were, they said that everyone just kept playing their game, like nobody was paying attention that some guy had died in this internet cafe

So really, really interesting, okay So the report said the police paramedics arrived and other gamers continued as if nothing had happened Now, this death was actually the second death in the same month, which is probably why there was an uproar, in people saying we need some type of regulation of this industry Or gaming needs to be regulated, externally regulated And that explains why there's a push in Asia for all these regulations in, I had mentioned, South Korea and Japan and in China

Now, some people believe that this whole push with the World Health Organization to make this disorder into the ICD, is moved by political reasons, largely from these countries Now they're not saying exactly which countries, but our guess is from those countries that are having bigger problems with this issue So you know what is really going on because it isn't one of those things that we've had a lot of studies about, and we still need long-term studies to determine if Gaming Disorder really is a disorder we need to address, or, if it's really just behavioral addiction that we're working with Okay Now what does this mean to you as a consumer or as a parent

Well, I had mentioned a lot of things of how it could affect you Insurance for example And how insurance covers Gaming Disorder, because it really is something that is preventable in that you just don't play a game Could, could insurance companies come and say, "Well, you know, here's the stipulation and how we're going to treat this and what we're gonna cover for this," right? If your child is dealing with with that, the other aspect is what's happening in Asia where you're having politicians move in to regulate how games are being used and consumed Now I don't know about you, I do like to play video games on my phone, every once in a while, or on my tablet

It's not, it's not an addictive thing I don't, it doesn't take precedence over other things in my life But to feel like the government is gonna regulate how that works, and actually my device may shut down if i play too much, is is bothersome to me i just don't feel like that is an appropriate thing for the government to be regulating on how I consume games So those are some of the things that you as a parent need to to be aware of

And whether or not Gaming Disorder needs to be diagnosed Now again, i just want to state there's not a ton of studies out there There's a big push for this to be included right now, but there's not enough studies out there to prove Gaming Disorder is an issue And so, until we can get that, I would err on the side of diagnosing it with behavioral addiction Largely, because we don't know

And again I use that same example from before You know, if you stop a person with a gaming disorder from playing video games are they cured or does that move over to a different addiction behavior that they may have We don't know, right And that's where studies need to come in Okay

So, I've shared with you what's kind of happening in the world of Gaming Disordered, and this is specifically important for parents, especially with young children We tend to give them electronics, during downtime, and it creates this environment where they're being stimulated by these devices And how much are we creating an environment where they could possibly become dependent on those for, to self-soothe, and to relax, and to function So you know, gauge yourself Jump on the Smart Parenting website for more information on what we've discussed here, and understand, and join in the dialogue of how this is coming to fruition, especially with technology

And give us your opinion Is Gaming Disorder the issue, and is it a diagnosis that you think is valid Because we all have a friend we know that is super addicted to video games Or, is it a behavioral thing Are they addicted behaviorally to things and are they precondition to being addicted to other things, not just gaming, but other things as well

I don't know Let me know Leave comments below if you're watching us on YouTube If you're on our website you can leave a comment on the website You can also send us an email at [email protected]

com Which is super slow, but send us your comments We would love to hear from you and get your feedback on what is happening with this new diagnosis And we'll keep you updated when they finally decide if they're gonna include it in the ICD, we will let you know Alright, this is me for this week and I'll talk to you again next week

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