Web Extra: Do you have video game addiction and what can you do about it?

Do you have video game addiction and what can you do about it? (WKEF/WRGT)

(WKEF/WRGT) - Most people think of video games as nothing more than a harmless hobby, but starting this year, it could lead to a mental health problem. The World Health Organization added “Gaming Disorder” to a beta draft of its International Classification of Diseases.

From the draft, here’s what you need to know:

There are 3 main requirements to be classified as a gaming disorder:

  • Impaired control over gaming (onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context)
  • Increasing priority given to gaming so that it affects other areas of your life
  • Continuation or escalation of gaming despite negative consequences

The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous OR episodic and recurrent.

  • Usually evident over a period of at least 12 months in order to be diagnosed, although not always

We sat down with clinical counselor Darcie Clark of Riverscape Counseling in Dayton. Here’s what you need to do if you think you or a loved one might be addicted:

  • Try not to use it for 10 days. “Usually if someone’s addicted and they don’t believe they’re addicted I ask them not to use whatever it is for 10 days, sometimes 30 days and see how it goes,” Clark said. “Because if they’re not addicted that should be okay and that’s sometimes usually the real test.”
  • Look at the areas of your life that are being affected. “Just like with any addiction sometimes people don’t realize how much it’s affecting their life or others around them until they’re able to step out of that situation and really take a look at it,” Clark said.
  • Try to discover and examine underlying issues, which could help you beat the addiction.
  • Get help. Therapy can be incredibly helpful to those suffering with video game addiction. “We often try to treat not the diagnosis, but the person,” Clark said.
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