Experts say game addiction isn't a mental disorder

— 2:22 PM on June 25, 2007

If you bought an extra monitor and quit your job just so you could spend every waking hour playing World of Warcraft, you certainly have a problem, but you're probably not mentally ill. As CNet reports, experts at the American Medical Association have declined a proposal to classify video game addiction as a mental disorder in the American Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders. The experts believe additional study is needed before game addiction can be classified as such. According to Dr. Stuart Gitlow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine and Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, "There is nothing here to suggest that this is a complex physiological disease state akin to alcoholism or other substance abuse disorders." Gitlow says video game addiction "doesn't get to have the word addiction attached to it."

Some medical professionals who work with so-called video game addicts disagree. "Working with this problem is no different than working with alcoholic patients. The same denial, the same rationalization, the same inability to give it up," CNet quotes Dr. Thomas Allen of the Osler Medical Center in Towson, Maryland as saying. If the science supports such views, video game addiction could be eligible for inclusion in the 2012 version of the American Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders.

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