February 10, 2010, 8:45 PM — Video game addiction is both a cultural topic people love to dissect and a mental disorder people tend to self-diagnose; however, it's not officially in the American Psychiatric Association's classification system -- and now, it may never be.
The APA is working on a fifth edition of its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM, or "shrink's bible"), and proposed changes could eliminate the "Non-substance addictions" category where people argue game addiction should go; instead, replacing it with a general diagnosis category that doesn't differentiate between video games and sex. Currently, popular approaches to video game addiction peg it as an impulse-control problem not unlike a gambling addiction -- which is also up for revision in the DSM-5.
In a rare decision, the APA is opening up discussion on these and all other proposed changes to psychiatrists and the general public via the Internet. You can browse the proposed changes and discussion threads of each on the APA's DSM-5 site.
You'll see stuff like this up for discussion:
Are the "Substance Use Disorders" and the so-called "Non-substance Addictions," such as pathological gambling related, and if so, what are the nature and strength of the relationships? Among the other widely suggested candidates for a possible "Non-substance addictions," category (e.g., internet gaming, eating, shopping, sexual activity), how strong is their research evidence base?
If you've got an opinion, now's your chance to weigh in where it matters.
Source:Changes proposed in how psychiatrists diagnose [Associated Press via Yahoo News]