Are You a Game Addict? Internet Addiction Disorder

Internet Addiction Disorder:

Patrick J. Hart Psy.D.
Evaluation and Treatment

Computer Cyber-Addiction Online Role Play Game Compulsion

Take Charge of the Obsessive Use of Online Technology that Drains Your Life Vitality!

The term “cyber-addiction” has been cleverly coined to describe obsessive behavior problems related to computer use, console games, and various forms of online technology. Such “clean addictions” have been highlighted as reflecting non-chemical dependencies. A virtual wave of popularity has found game consoles like the X Box, PlayStation, and Nintendo Wii, to be common entertainment in American households. This wave of virtual entertainment has revealed in its wake some alarming consequences.

internet addiction: a man exhausted asleep on his laptop computer

The “cyber-addict” has emerged. Gamers who cannot control their gaming are grafting themselves to computer consoles as their life vitality virtually deteriorates and washes away in cyber-reality. The pattern of life compromises parallels the pattern of symptoms found in those who suffer chemical dependency: occupations are squandered, marriages are destroyed, and mental and behavioral health becomes disorganized, much like the symptoms associated with narcotic addiction.

The Computer Game Addict
Massively multiplayer Online Role Playing:

Caught in the Net?

Internet Addictive Disorder:
Currently Diagnosed As: “Impulse Control Disorder: Not Otherwise Specified”

Internet addictive disorder anecdotally refers to a set of compulsive behavior problems that is very similar to pathological gambling, pornography obsession, or compulsive “shopping addiction.” Like other “process addictions,” an inordinate and life-defeating focus on computer related activities negatively affects other people: family, friends, employers or co-workers. The addict may be unaware of exactly how much time and energy he or she is investing in the compulsion or the addict may be aware of the problem but simply be unable to stop.

Spouses complain that their loved ones neglect them in favor of screen time. Parents bicker, couples separate, jobs are lost, and health is diminished – all in the interest of more time at the screen. Like gamblers, cyber-addicts compulsively keep investing time, money, and vital life energy that might otherwise be better invested. Such techno-compulsive users may ultimately find that they are . . . stuck in the World Wide Web.

Computer-related technology has led to increasing concerns about what is now being called “cyber-addiction.” Massively multiplayer online role play games like Ever Quest and World of Warcraft are taking a toll on America’s youth. Severe disruption is apparent in many people’s lives as a result of compulsive computer related behavior.

this woman is enraged at technology

Advances in computer technology have allowed easy access to pornography and sexually explicit chat rooms. This has given rise to a host of behavioral and psychological problems associated with cyber technology. Role play games like Ever Quest and World of Warcraft are never-ending excursions into a virtual reality that finds people engaging in internet play to such an extent that they manifest symptoms that reflect the compromises found in people who suffer from chemical dependency. Compulsions with respect to pornography, chat rooms, and role play games can lead to severe disruption in social, occupational, and academic functioning. Physical and mental health is also compromised by the emergence of a host of medical and social problems that accompany this compulsive conduct. .

Hooked on the Web: Therapeutic Services for Computer Related Addiction

Online Addiction & Autism Spectrum Disorders: Elaine A Duncan M.A.

Therapeutic Programs for Compulsive Gaming and Self-Defeating Computer Behavior.
The inability to control the urge to play video games is such a new phenomenon that 12-Step programs and dedicated inpatient treatment programs rarely exist for this problem.. One great option exists, however: the harm reduction model discussed below.

More methods for treating these problems and fulfilling these needs will undoubtedly arise in the future. In the meantime, we have embraced the harm-reduction model for treating the addicted gamer. This method must be tailored to the gamer and the context in which the gamer lives. Individual, group, family, and couple’s counseling are routinely useful.

Dr. Hilarie Cash
The Reality Quest Institute: Research Therapy & Treatment
Compulsive Internet Use & Computer Game Addiction Counseling
What Parents Need to Know About Their Children’s Gaming Habits.

Psychologist Hilarie Cash and Kim McDaniel are publishing a handbook for parents on these topics.

Caught in the Net? – Signs of Trouble with Internet Addiction

Signs and Symptoms: Compulsive Gaming and Internet Addiction

Self Tests for Addiction:

  • Internet Game Addiction Test
  • Online Internet Gambling Addiction Test

CyberAddiction Trapped on the Web? – A Result of Computerized Life

Press Releases: Internet Addictive Disorder – Definition of the Problem

Educational Connections
Helping families assess appropriate educational options for struggling adolescents.

News Release: Stanford School of Medicine
Video games activate reward regions of brain in men more than women