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Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest

The Gambling, Gaming & Technology Use Community of Interest brings together addiction and mental health service providers, researchers and subject matter experts in the fields of gambling, technology/Internet use and video gaming to collaborate and share knowledge on emerging trends and clinical best practices.

Video gaming

In their study Chang et al (2021) looked at the mediating effects of online gaming on self-stigma amongst people with schizophrenia. Self-stigma in mental health is when an individual with a mental illness internalizes the stereotypes that society places on their mental illness. It has been shown to cause significant psychological distress such as anxiety and depression. Individuals with schizophrenia are thought to use technology to cope with these symptoms similar to how substances are used to cope.

The authors found that online gaming helped the study participants cope with these negative symptoms of self-stigma. The authors’ suggest that online gaming allows people with schizophrenia to “Escape from the social stigma in the outside world” and connect with individuals online.

While online gaming may help them escape social stigma, the authors also note that excessive gaming might impact daily functioning such as school which may also contribute to psychological distress. Determining a balance is important in helping to support this population.

I was wondering how you would have a conversation with a client around how they can create a healthy balance in their use of online gaming?

Chang, Y. H., Chang, K. C., Hou, W. L., Lin, C. Y., & Griffiths, M. D. (2021). Internet gaming as a coping method among schizophrenic patients facing psychological distress. Journal of Behavioral Addictions, 9(4), 1022-1031.


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  • Video gaming: Image credit: Michael Kraus / EyeEm / Getty Images.
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