Self-proclaimed video game addicts have been checking into rehabiliation centers in growing numbers. While many clinics are reluctant to accept such a diagnosis, the applicant's health often warrants a recuperative stay.
"Some of our patients will sit at their computers hours on end either never eating or oversnacking and only getting up to go to the bathroom as a last resort," said a therapist at a Silicon Valley inpatient treatment facility.
"The gamer's health is often failing when he -- and sometimes she -- approaches us for help," said the therapist.
In June, the American Medical Association officially turned down a request to make video game addiction a formal psychiatric disorder.
At the same time, Internet addiction is an acceptable reason to avoid mandated military service in the Netherlands.
Symptoms of computer addiction are similar to that of any other AMA accepted disorder. "From obsessing on it all the time to the program's specifics invading their dreams to major health concerns, sufferers are really no different than meth addicts," said the therapist.
"With the exception that gamers tend not to be violent in real life unless they play first person shooters."
Copyright 2007, SkewsMe