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Video games can be addicting. And not in a good way. Seriously.

Video game addiction can alternatively be referred to by the scientific community as internet gaming disorder (IGD). As of May 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) released the eleventh edition of its International Statistical Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). ICD-11 is considered as a diagnostic tool for the purposes of providing a classification system for diseases. In this eleventh edition, the WHO recognized IGD as a legitimate medical condition.

Video game addiction seems to be emerging as a bitter-sweet reality.

But how can we know who is addicted to video games? How can we distinguish those who play video games in a healthy, recreational way from those who have an impaired ability to control their habits?

In the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the American Psychiatric Association (APA) proposed nine criteria to diagnose IGD. That is, if you can say yes to five of the nine criteria, and if this persists for over twelve-months, then you have video game disorder.

So do you struggle with IGD? Let’s find out by answering the following nine questions:

1. Do you find yourself constantly preoccupied with the thought of playing or have played video games?

2. Do you feel irritable, sad, or anxious when video games are taken away?

3. Do you find yourself having to play an increasingly greater amount of video games each time?

4. Do you struggle to limit the amount of time that you play?

5. Do you spend less time pursuing hobbies that you once loved?

6. Do you continue playing video games despite knowing that it negatively impacts your social life?

7. Have you lied to someone close to you about the amount of time you spent playing video games?

8. Do you play video games as a way to escape feelings of anxiety, sadness, helplessness, etc.?

9. Have you lost a relationship, job, or educational/career opportunity due to the amount that you play video games?

If you have answered yes to five or more of the above questions, then you or your loved one may be struggling with Internet Gaming Disorder.

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