We are seeing the damaging effects of excessive video gaming and electronic screen time in children in their meibomian glands and eyes. The American Psychiatric Association have included Internet Gaming as a new diagnosis worthy of treating.
It can be addicting and needs to be treated due to its damaging effects on multiple aspects of a youth’s body and life, particularly the risk of long term severe dry eye pain.
Internet Gaming Disorder in Adolescents With Psychiatric Disorder: Two Case Reports Using a Developmental Framework
Internet gaming disorder (IGD) has been a controversial entity with various opinions about its clinical relevance as an independent mental disorder. This debate has also included discussions about the relationships between problematic gaming, various psychiatric disorders, and personality traits and dimensions. This paper outlines a developmental-theory based model of Internet gaming misuse inspired by the treatment of two adolescent inpatients. The two clinical vignettes illustrate distinct developmental pathways: an “internalized pathway” via the development of social anxiety, emotional and behavioral avoidance; and an “externalized pathway” with a low level of emotional regulation strategies and impulsivity. In both clinical cases, attachment issues played a key role to understand the specific associations of risk and maintaining factors for IGD, and gaming behaviors may be seen as specific forms of maladaptive self-regulatory strategies for these two youths. These clinical observations support the assumption that gaming use problematic in adolescents should be viewed with a developmental approach, including key aspects of emotional development that represent significant targets for therapeutic interventions.
Keywords: Internet gaming disorder, gaming misuse, internalizing disorders, externalizing disorders, behavioral addiction, emotional dysregulation, insecure attachment, adolescents
Internet Gaming Disorder
In 2013 the American Psychiatric Association included the Internet gaming disorder (IGD) in the research appendix of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5) recommending that further studies be conducted (1). Following DSM-5 suggestions, gaming disorder (GD) was recently included as a formal diagnostic entity in the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (2) referring to both offline and online games and drawing a distinction between GD and hazardous gaming. The prevalence of IGD/GD is estimated between 1.2% and 5.5% in teenagers, and a problematic gaming use would concern about 1 out of 10 adolescents playing video games (3).