Childhood video game addiction linked to mental illness: researchers

Depression, anxiety and social phobia result

A study published the journal Pediatrics suggests that children who become addicted to video games are more likely to be depressed, anxious or have social phobias. It also found that teens who have trouble fitting in with other kids are more likely to become addicted in the first place. But the “real surprise” of the study, according to researchers, was that once addicted children who qualified as depressed stopped playing altogether, their depression lifted. The study included data on 3,034 children in Singapore over two years. The average time spent playing video games was 20.5 to 22.5 hours per week. About 9 per cent of the children surveyed qualified as “addicted.”

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Childhood video game addiction linked to mental illness: researchers

  1. Children addicted to video games – how does this happen? These kids are spending as much time on a video game as a person who works have time at a job. I have always thought it is a good idea to have the computer in the family room so parents can monitor what is going on. The same with the television. One of the treatments for depression is light therapy – 30 min to 1 hr of sunlight per day. Maybe that is why these kids get better once they get cut off the video games. Then they actually have time to go outside.

  2. More hokum about something 'new'.

    First it was the pool hall, and then TV, and then the video arcade, and now games at home….it was all going to end civilization as we know it.

    • I wouldn't dismiss it as not real. We know adults become addicted to gambling.

      • That's the currently fashionable thing to call it.

        • What do you call it, Emily? Given your vast experience experience with addiction, mental illness, etc. perhaps you could enlighten us all.

          • Lack of character?

            Having another problem you don't want to face so you drown it in gambling? Or drinking? Or drug use?

            Low IQ?

            Lack of maturity?

            A failure to come to grips with reality?

            Take your choice…but 'addiction' is a fashionable cover-all cop-out.

            'I couldn't help it, so I'm not to blame'

          • What the article is talking about is children, Emily. If they have an addiction, none of your easy labels work…lack of character, lack of IQ, ..having another problem you don't want to face so drown it…

            You just can't admit that addictions might be an illness…

          • Yes, children in Singapore….where it's not part of the culture to toss kids outdoors so the parents can goof off

            Singapore….that has growth rates Flaherty and Harper would kill for..

          • Ping

          • Emily, there is harm besides physical harm……addictions are something you can't stop even though they make you feel bad and you want to stop doing them.

            Please wikipedia geneticists….they are physicians.

            Anyway, I am done. I feel like you must feel when you are dealing with the climate change deniers….tired and wrung out…ping to you too! Whatever that means. Have a good day.

          • Sorry, Emily, my mistake. Geneticists have a PhD not a medical degree. However, there are Physicians who specialize in genetics.

          • I find it interesting that kids don't play board games like monopoly or tiddley-winks etc and get 'addicted'

            It's only when it's a video game.

            And adults are not 'addicted' when they spend lots of time playing canasta or euchre or bridge….it's only when money is involved.

            The ping btw is to get a post to show up….nothing to do with you personally, just this site.

          • Emily, I am going to throw out two great minds of the last century – F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway, both alcholics, so both addicts and I want you to tell me how they fit your criteria.

          • Both were authors….'great' is an opinion, one that I don't share…..but booze and drugs have been part of 'artistic life' for a long time now. Supposedly an attempt to 'free the mind'

            However both also had mental problems….booze could have been an attempt at self-medication, or just a weakness….an attempt at avoiding other things.

            Either way, it wasn't any fashionable addiction.

          • Ernest Hemingway was originally a journalist and then one of the century's most celebrated authors, Emily and in your opinion he wasn't a great mind? Okay, who would you qualify as a great mind?
            Yes, you are correct. Many people with alcohol & drug addictions, start off abusing alcohol & drugs as a way of self medicating. The author of the article also stated that the children who became addicted to gaming had difficulties fitting in. They were shy, awkward, had social phobias and anxiety. Likely, if they were old enough they would self-medicate with drugs or alcohol.

          • Einstein….Hawking…any number of others.

            'Fitting in' is not a good thing….it's called conformity.

            Meanwhile Arnold today announced he was addicted to being governor.

            Personally, I've always been addicted to reading….drove my parents nuts.

          • Emily, I think you have misinterpreted what they mean by "fitting in". This children have difficulty in social situations, difficulty making any friends. It is certainly not a good thing. I won't respond to your ridiculous comments about 'additions'……

          • Yes, lots of people do. There is no 'normal'.

          • These kids have no friends…they don't want to go to school….

            I was thinking of another alcoholic – Frank O'Dea – who started the Second Cup Franchises. He is a great man and teaches us that it is very wrong to make any assumptions about people with addictions.

          • I didn't want to go to school….it was boring and silly. I much preferred to read at home.

            There is no 'normal'

            Thank gawd there were fewer psychologists then. LOL

  3. Most of my high school would qualify then. Meh, what a stupid article.
    Video games are here to stay..Get over it.

    • The article is talking about children…little kids…however, if most of your high school is spending 20 to 22.5 hrs per week on video games, we might have a problem GamerBoyX. When are they doing their homework?

      • There are 168 hours in a week. Lets allocate 56 hours to sleep (ie. 8 hours/ day). Lets also assume that from 7:30-3:30, these kids are in school, or getting ready for school on each weekday. That accounts for another 40 hours. Then lets assume 22.5 hours of video-gaming. How much time is left?

        A: 49.5 waking hours. That is plenty of time in which to complete chores, homework, play sports, and engage in non-video game leisure activities (since the average person watches 4.5 hours of tv per day – over 30 hours a week – it stands to reason that television, not video games, is the real enemy).

        • Why would you dispute the work of the scientists who do the studies? Is is really that much of stretch to believe that kids who are spending over 20 hours per week on video games are depressed? I am sure that kids who spend the other 24 hours of their free time watching tv aren't all that happy either.

          • They aren't scientists. They're psychologists.

            Kids spend 40 hours a week in front of a screen….or so say the ads on here. LOL

            They'll spend most of their lives in front of a screen, big and little….such is the 21st century.

    • Do you know that the scientists who discover vaccines and unravel the mysteries of DNA are medical doctors who have chosen not to work with patients but work in a laboratory? Habits that become obsessions………..are called for want of a better word ……addictions!

      • Mmmm no, they are biochemical scientists, geneticists, and other things.

        Habits and obsessions are not addictions.

        An addiction causes physical harm to the patient during both use and withdrawal.

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