The Round table on the topic: “Comorbid psychopathology in case of gambling disoder (GD), internet gaming disoder (IGD) and social networking sites (SNS) addiction. Clinical, neurobiological and social preconditions of comorbid psychopathology“ was held on December 6, 2020

It was attended by psychiatrists, psychotherapists and psychologists from different countries: Switzerland, Russia, UK (London), Greece, Czech Republic, South Africa (Cape Town), Morocco, Lebanon, Kenya, Egypt, Nigeria and others.

Contents of the meeting.

During the round table, Dr. Tetiana Zinchenko, president of the IASGA, held an overview presentation on the topic of the event, based on her own clinical research and a review of more than 50 other studies.

Doctors have shared the results of their clinical studies and observations.

Dr. Richard Beck, president of the IAGP shared statistics on the prevalence of gaming and gambling addictions in the US and his own clinical experience.

Dr. Beulah van der Westhuizen founding director EduExcellence & TheraEd, Cape Town. South Africa observed an increasing prevalence of addiction to online video games among children with neurodevelopmental disabilities – students in the schools where she works. She has also observed an increase in attention problems, anxiety, withdrawnness, aggression and a decrease in academic performance in children who are overly addicted to computer games.

Dr Marie Nohra, professor at the University of Marroco, shared her own research on the relationship between emotional disorders, depression with suicidal behaviour and gambling and online video game addiction among high school and college students.

Dr Zoe Voyatzaki, psychotherapist and psychologist from Greece, shared her own clinical observations of different comorbid psychopathologies among children and adults with different forms of information addiction at clinical and subclinical levels.

Other meeting participants also presented the results of their clinical observations and experiences.

Doctors noted an increasing number of cases of constant problem and pathological games in their countries, especially in quarantine conditions.

This includes both gambling and online video games on the Internet. Symptoms of gaming addiction were most often observed in adolescents, high school students and young people under 35 years old.

All participants unanimously agreed that gaming information technologies are created with manipulative content to involve into the game and to keep the user’s attention in the game. As a result, they promote development of addiction to such degree that participation in games becomes a leading need in their active users.

Also participants have made a conclusion that Gambling addiction (GD), Internet gaming addiction (IGD) and online social networking sites (SNS) addiction can form in individuals without mental disorders, as well as in people with mental disorders at the subclinical or clinical level.

But as a result, new mental disorders are added, or existing ones are aggravated. The question is not in any particularly vulnerable group of people. The research results and the clinical experience of specialists also shows that information game and network technologies are the main risk factor for the development of these behavioral dependencies and comorbid psychopathology, up to suicidal behavior. But when healthy life activity was restored, the severity of symptoms of accompanying mental disorders also decreased.

The result of the meeting:

  • The participants of the Round Table planned to conduct comprehensive joint research on the problem of game dependencies and dependence on social networks.
  • They developed a complex of actions aimed at informing scientific, professional community and general public about negative influence of game information technologies on consciousness, brain and integral development of a person, especially children, teenagers and youth.
  • During the professional discussion, ways of solving this problem at the global social level were proposed. Such as interdisciplinary international conferences, congresses and the preparation of methodological materials for professionals and the general public.