The Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders Essay

The Diagnostic And Statistical Manual Of Mental Disorders Essay

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The recent release of the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) (American Psychiatric Association, 2013) has led to the introduction of a new class of addictive disorders. And although the new category, behavioural addictions, currently only includes Internet gambling disorder, under the “conditions for further study” section of the DSM-5 is Internet gaming disorder. Discussions are on-going on whether or not Internet gaming disorder has legitimate reason for its inclusion in future editions of the DSM.
Internet gaming disorder is characterised by the persistent and recurrent playing of internet-based video games leading to clinically significant distress or impairment. According to the DSM-5, for an individual to be diagnosed with Internet gaming disorder they must meet five or more of the following criteria; preoccupation with internet games, withdrawal symptoms when the games are taken away, tolerance to video games, unsuccessful attempts to control video game use, loss of interest in other activities, psychosocial problems caused by excessive video game use, deceiving peers of the extent of video game use, use of internet games to alleviate a negative mood, and jeopardising potential opportunities or relationships. Internet gaming disorder is distinct from (Internet) gambling disorder, and may include offline video games, although further research is needed in this regard.
The DSM-5 states that the primary reason for Internet gaming disorder not yet being considered as an independent disorder is due to a lack of research. Unlike similar disorders such as gambling disorder, there are yet to be a sufficient number of epidemiological studies to identify the prevalence, clinical cours...


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...sorder to disrupt learning and social development in adolescents.
Based on the evidence presented, it would appear the next logical step for Internet gaming disorder would be its full inclusion in the next edition of the DSM. Although research suggests the current criteria for diagnosing Internet gaming disorder is not fully accurate, the psychosocial effects that the disorder has the potential to cause surely reach the threshold to quality as an addictive disorder. With its inclusion in the DSM, more research would be done into the aetiology and underlying causes of the disorder, allowing for a more refined diagnostic criterion. Cross-cultural research also suggests that the disorder is not just a social construct based in high technology countries such as China or Japan, but a serious psychological issue with the potential to affect individuals around the world.

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