Doctors Say Video Gaming Not an Addiction

CHICAGO — At last week’s annual meeting of the American Medical Association, doctors reconsidered a proposal to classify Internet/video gaming addiction as a specific mental illness.

Experts on addiction and other physicians debated the issue at the meeting on Sunday, concluding that more research needs to be compiled before excessive video-gaming should be consider for categorization as a distinct mental illness.

An estimated 10 percent of video gamers suffer from the problem of addictive play, according to a Reuters article .

“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," said Dr. Stuart Gitlow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

As reported by XBIZ , a recommendation from the AMA would have been the first step in legitimizing video-gaming addiction as a separate diagnosis, distinguishing it from other forms of addiction or obsessive/compulsive behavior.

The next step in the process would involve the American Psychiatric Association’s approval to categorize video gaming addiction as a clinical diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

If the syndrome was listed in the DSMMD-V, it would open the door for development of specific treatment protocol for the condition and also pave the way for treatment to be paid for by health insurance plans.

The group of physicians that originally made the recommendation to the AMA backed off of its position at the meeting, agreeing more research should be completed and the issue be reconsidered five years from now, when the next DSMMD-VI will be published, in 2012.

Dr. Kenneth Woog, a San Clemente-based psychologist who specializes in Internet addiction said he was surprised that the AMA was considering the issue for review because few physicians treat Internet/video-gaming addiction as a separate condition.

“It just hasn’t reached enough consensus with enough people. There’s not a whole lot of people that are really aware of this in the medical profession,” Woog told XBIZ. “The fact that it’s hit the radar screen is good and it’s a good first step. As they see more cases they’ll be more likely to consider it a separate issue.”

Woog said he has treated hundreds of patients in his clinical practice and also with a treatment program he has developed for commercial sale.

“I think over time that people are going to realize it is a specific disorder,” Woog said. “It’s got a distinct treatment and that’s why it should be considered as a separate diagnosis. The industry doesn’t really see that. Not enough people have dealt with this problem.”

Many healthcare specialists agree that excessive video gaming can lead to withdrawal, feelings of isolation and nonparticipation in day-to-day activities like socializing, bathing, working and eating.

Typically, adolescents dealing with the issue are referred to primary care physicians and treated with methods aimed at depression, anxiety and obsessive/compulsive disorder, according to Woog.

“When parents call me, they’ve already been through the wringer. They’ve tried to get treatment and help and nothing has helped,” Woog explained. “For adolescents and their parents the problems can get very serious.

“Many of them are shy, relatively intelligent kids who are now addicted to these computer games. What we want to do with these kids that are bright and capable is moderate them to real success – not virtual success. When you look at it, traditional treatments, like abstinence, just don’t work here.”

Woog did not participate in testimony given to the AMA.

An AMA committee will consider testimony presented at the meeting, and give its recommendation to delegates who will vote on the matter later this week.

Copyright © 2024 Adnet Media. All Rights Reserved. XBIZ is a trademark of Adnet Media.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.

More News

Catholic Groups Produce New Propaganda Series 'The Porn Disaster'

Catholic communications conglomerate Shalom Media has released new episodes of its anti-porn propaganda video and audio series, “The Porn Disaster.”

AEBN Reveals Eva Maxim as Top Trans Star for Q2 of 2024

AEBN has announced its top-selling trans stars for the second quarter of 2024, with Q1 fave Eva Maxim landing once again atop the leaderboard.

National Conservatism Conference Panelist Confirms Age Verification Laws Are Path to Total Porn Ban

This year’s National Conservatism Conference in Washington hosted a “Big Tech and Big Porn” panel earlier this week, during which a spokesperson for the right-wing Ethics and Public Policy Center confirmed that the age verification laws currently being promoted around the country by religious conservatives are merely a step toward the ultimate goal of a total ban of porn.

Pornhub Shuts Down Access in Kentucky Over Age Verification

Aylo has blocked access to Pornhub in Kentucky as of Wednesday, five days before the state’s new age verification law — one of many such bills promoted by religious conservatives around the country — is scheduled to go into effect.

European Commission Adds XXNX to List of 'Very Large' Platforms Subject to Special Regulations

The European Commission has added XXNX to its list of platforms designated as “very large online platforms” (VLOPs) and therefore subject to special regulations under the controversial Digital Services Act (DSA).

Aylo Awarded Permanent Injunction Against Recalcitrant Content Pirates

A U.S. district court in California issued an amendment judgment on Monday, awarding Aylo Premium a permanent injunction against three people named as operators of Goodporn and several mirror sites, which hosted full-length, streamable versions of the company’s content.

Irish Senator's Age Verification Bill Aims at U.S.-Style Chilling Effect on Porn

The Senate of the Republic of Ireland — known by its Gaelic name Seanad Éireann — has scheduled a hearing for Thursday to debate the country’s proposed Protection of Children (Online Age Verification) Bill.

Julia Ann, Andy Rodrigues Top AEBN for Q2 of 2024

AEBN has announced its top-selling stars for the second quarter of 2024, with Julia Ann landing atop the leader board for straight theaters and Andy Rodrigues heading up the gay rankings.

MSNBC's Chris Hayes Denounces Project 2025's Porn Ban Proposal

MSNBC commentator Chris Hayes lambasted Project 2025’s proposed pornography ban during a recent installment of his show “All In,” alongside other controversial proposals on the conservative initiative’s “unhinged wish list.”

Short-Form Adult Content Platform Fantasi Launches

Short-form adult content platform Fantasi has debuted.

Show More