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talljasperman's avatar

Should doctors add video game addiction to the medical encyclopedia of mental illnesses?

Asked by talljasperman (18313 points ) February 28th, 2014

As child I was hooked on porn and video games and cartoons, I would skip weeks of school at a time and waste my time playing the time away… I was never caught until I asked why no truant officers are coming for me…I skipped 88 days in grade 7, 59 days in grade 8, and 29 days in grade 9… I passed because of a no fail policy and my math and language arts skills are messed up to today… I still will never know the difference between their and there on philosophical grounds. I made it to a Lutheran university because at the time It had a 60% admission average… We had free internet and cable, and I did it again, I skipped classes and missed meals, I tried my best and I passed the first year and failed horribly in the second. I ended up having a 2.3 out of 9 average and I was asked to leave. for a year, and I never came back.

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18 Answers

Darth_Algar's avatar

I’d say the more likely scenario is that your addictions listed here are rather a symptom of some other underlying mental illness.

talljasperman's avatar

@Darth_Algar I was told I was ill, I’m on AISH. They won’t tell me the label. I’m doing better now that I have help. I’ve found Fluther and Answerbag and I feel better for finding both.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@talljasperman FWIW I find you to be a pretty intelligent guy. School is not for everyone and just because you play video games doesn’t mean you can’t apply them to real world things at the same time. Recently I’ve been hooked on Kerbal Space Program. I was having problems a couple months ago landing on The MÜN (moon) so I looked up the physics equations to determine acceleration for a given ΔV over a given time. I plugged in all the numbers I had from the game and determined what my ships acceleration would have to be to touch down softly on the moons surface and did it in the first try. It was an amazing feeling of accomplishment. At the same time however I realized I am applying a level of math that most people never even use, for a video game…. a friggin video game…

My advice to you is this, find what you are passionate about, it can be anything, but I have a feeling you may already know what is it. Set your sights on this target, learn all you can about it, be like a laser. In time you will find something in your given passion that you feel compelled to change, work toward that change. You will accomplish great things.

Jonesn4burgers's avatar

I am glad you are finding outlets you can enjoy.
I don’t think anything needs to be added to medical encyclopedia. The issue would be covered by psycological addictions, or possibly compulsions and obsessions. Those issues are already well covered.

cazzie's avatar

It is recognised here. (In Norway) There is a large section of the children’s psych clinic (I’ve been there with my kiddo for his ADHD) dedicated to it. Families (whole families… mom, dad, and all the siblings) stay there for as long as it takes and the kid and families are all put through therapy to help. A friend’s brother in law was treated there exactly for what you describe, only he was in high school.
I’m SOOO happy you are realising it is and was a problem and that you are finding help. Intelligence should never be mistaken for education. I know plenty of overly-educated people are I find them very stupid and boring. It is good that Canada is looking after you, but your life is still up to you. If you feel bad about something, change it. If you like something and it makes you happy, do it. I’m a big proponent of Self Reliance and Self Discipline, but we all have our limits. We can only do our best given our circumstances and our circumstances are, more often than not, not the best.

ucme's avatar

The cure is really very simple, wean addicts off by forcing them to play those foot stamping dance games. Random coloured lights must be trod on in sequence with the tunes, after only a short while gamers will lose the will to live as they mimic the actions of a pony that stepped into a load of shit, nice game analogy too.

GoldieAV16's avatar

No, they should not. Just because Big Pharma wants to give every human condition under the sun a medical diagnosis so they can sell you a pill (or two, or ten), and just because the Addictions Industry would like to take your money treat you, is not a scientific reason to label behaviors as “addictions.” Do you develop tolerance for those “substances,” requiring greater quantities to attain the same result? Do you suffer physical symptoms of withdrawal (like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea) when the activity is removed?

I’m with @Jonesn4burgers on this one. Obsessions and compulsions are already covered.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I can’t say much, It’s been a cold winter and I stayed cooped up playing Minecraft and my new addiction space engineers I’m finally getting out for a hike today. As soon as it gets warm I drop the internet and video games. I think could be a symptom of other things like OCD but I’m no shrink. The documentary second skin addresses this. I think there is some validity to it.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

FYI that documentary has some issues with it, some of the people were basically actors.

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Coloma's avatar

Meh….humans are naturally prone to seek out escapist activities, especially during times of high stress, we don’t need any more mental health labels for basic human behavior.
Your gaming and porning does sound like it was reaching an excessive place but anything can be addictive. Lots of people are addicted to exercise but because it is seen as positive, short of becoming anorexic nobody takes issue with the gym rat that has to work out 4 hours a day.

Just watch yourself, we all know when our behaviors are becoming excessive.

jerv's avatar

I’m with @Darth_Algar on this; it’s more of a symptom than a separate illness. Aspies are particularly prone to excessive gaming because game worlds make more sense than the real world.

This from someone who has 70 hours on Skyrim in the last 2 weeks!

WhovianGirl18's avatar

No because a lot of people play a video game from time to time.

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cazzie's avatar

I should add that I don’t think the kids who end up with their families at the clinic here are diagnosed with something called ‘computer game addiction’... I’m with @Darth_Algar and @jerv on that. I’m sure there are many reasons kids over indulge and it may be a symptom or sign of a deeper psychological problem, like obsessive compulsive or perhaps a reaction to bullying where the kids is just trying to escape reality, or there could be something like ADD, PDD-NOS, so it can’t possibly be a diagnosis in itself, but perhaps a symptom of something… or perhaps just a spoiled, over indulged child who has never been given boundaries.

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