Gaming Disorder

In January of 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified Gaming Disorder in its International Classification of Diseases.

Gaming Disorder is characterized by

“Impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months”.

This is the way that all behavioral addictions are diagnosed. Other behavioral addictions include gambling, shopping, sex and exercise and they have the same ability to be just a hobby or an addiction. So, is it a video game  addiction?


I use standardized tests to determine if someone’s video gaming has tipped over from frequent use to actual gaming disorder or video gaming addiction.

Some reasons why people plays video games so much:

  • They have acquired a lot of skill in a game
  • The game is exciting
  • They may struggle with an untreated anxiety, depression, attention or learning difficulty.
  • They may be isolated, bullied, or lacking the social skills needed to engage with people in the world.
  • They socialize with friends while playing the game in person or with online friends.
  • They use it for stress release.
Counselling Guelph treatment room
Mary Cross, MSW, RSW, Psychotherapist


It is important to me to figure out the specific and individual underlying reasons why each person games so that we can work on healing and changing behaviors (that you want to change) together.

In order to reduce or eliminate problem behavior, clients need to recognize that they have a problem and want to change it. We can work on this together. I can help clients figure out what they really want to be doing and achieving, and support them to move toward their goals.

Email or call me to set up an appointment. Initial assessment is 90 minutes and the cost is $125. Following sessions are 60 minutes and the cost is $125. Check in 30 minute sessions are $70. We will try to work quickly through any problems.


 I look forward to hearing from you.