If you think you can't tear yourself - or your partner, child or friend - away from Fortnite, Minecraft or Candy Crush, there might be hope in talk therapy, a small new study suggests.
Computer and internet gaming was added to psychiatrists' diagnostic manual as a 'condition for further study' in 2013 and as many as four percent of gamers are hooked, according to the World Health Organization's (WHO) estimates.
The disorder is new and controversial enough that psychologists and psychiatrists are still puzzling out the best way to treat it.
Talk - or cognitive behavioral - therapy has been suggested and, according to a Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz study, it may do the trick for 70 percent of addicted men.
Some eight million Americans - mostly males - may qualify as 'addicted' to computer and internet games, but talk therapy may help them get clean of the screen, a new study suggests
Screens consume over 11 waking hours of the average American's day.
If you play games, your apt to be on the upper end of the screen time bell curve.
And if you're a gaming addict, your screen may well be taking up the hours you once would've spent sleeping, too.
Nearly 70 percent of Americans - or 211 million people in the US - play video games.
Over half of them play on more than one device or platform.
And if four percent meet the criteria for addiction, then 8.4 million Americans are hooked on video games.
That's about the population of Virginia, plus another 400,000 people.
As noted by the 'psychiatrist's Bible,' the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition (DSM-5), gaming addiction still needs better study to be fully defined.
Currently, its established symptoms are fairly generic, and similar to those of the only other 'behavioral addiction' listed in the thick text: gambling addiction.
It's under consideration alongside the broader category of internet addiction.
A psychiatrist or psychologist might suspect gaming addiction if a person - typically male, and young - is preoccupied with gaming, seems to need more and more time doing it to get their 'fix,' gets anxious, irritable or sad when they can't game, will keep it up in spite of negative consequences, lies about gaming, loses interest in other activities, jeopardizes jobs or relationships and simply can't quit.
The DSM's hypothetical criteria require that someone experience at least five of the symptoms in the span of a year.
The American Psychiatric Association's manual, the DSM-5, stops short of declaring gaming an official addiction, but describes a theory of it that 'needs further research.'
Under its proposed criteria, a patient would have to have at least five of the following symptoms over the course of a year:Preoccupation with gaming Withdrawal symptoms when gaming is taken away or not possible (sadness, anxiety, irritability)