Although computer game addiction does not appear in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM-IV) excessive and unhealthy video game habits is something that has received increased attention in the past several years.
There is a movement underway to have online gaming addiction / video game addiction listed in future editions of the DSM, but for now it is not an official diagnosis F95zone. Still, it is difficult to deny that some people (whether they are children, teens, or adults) play video games far too much and that it can negatively impact their functioning and success away from the glare of the monitor.
Of course, not everyone becomes addicted to computer games. Online games are enjoyed by millions of people around the world as a way to relax, interact with friends, and for simple entertainment purposes.
However, it is becoming clear that there are those who lose control of their gaming habits. For these individuals, video games (especially online multiplayer games) take center stage in their lives. Work performance may suffer due to extended late night gaming sessions. School grades may drop as a consequence of giving more attention to computer games than studying. Relationships may deteriorate as one partner feels neglected and less important that his or her partner’s latest game obsession.
For individuals whose online gaming habits have crossed over from a hobby into an addiction, there are multiple life areas that can be negatively affected. Of course, not everyone who plays video games excessively will experience identical negative impacts. Nevertheless, the following list outlines the six main areas that are often affected by computer game addiction.
1. Psychological and Emotional
People addicted to computer games may have a higher risk of experiencing self-esteem problems, depressed mood, social anxiety, and mood instability. When negative consequences of the addiction can no longer be denied, they may also feel guilty and ashamed for not being able to control their habits. Of note, game addiction can not only *be* caused by other issues for example, depression, but may also *cause* other difficulties again, depression is just one example.