Our society’s primary purpose is to research the phenomenon of“ behavioural addiction” and investigate the social situations related to it. Furthermore, we aim to communicate this matter with the public.
Generally, the medical term behavioural addiction refers to non-substance-related addictions or compulsive behaviours. These may include gaming, gambling, shopping, sexual intercourse or/masturbation, stealing, sexual deviance, binge eating/purging, and arson. They may also involve excessive Internet, smartphone, or social media use. Behavioural addiction can refer to almost any human behaviour. Any individual’s behaviour can fall within a broad range of this term, defined by its time, place, and social occasion. Therefore, behavioural addiction is a concept with the potential to turn an individual’s behaviour, considered socially or morally excessive or aberrant, into a mental disorder. Therefore, the term behavioural addiction is always at the center of social controversy.
The two primary diagnostic criteria in psychiatry, the World Health Organization’s ICD-11 and the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 exclude behavioural addiction as a diagnostic criterion. DSM-5 carefully points out that “some clinicians will choose to use the word addiction to describe more extreme presentations” and clarifies the danger of using negative connotations toward addiction because of “its uncertain definition and its potentially negative connotation.” The WHO has expressed the same professional stance as the DSM-5.
However, thousands of research papers are published daily on the uncertain medical criteria of so-called behavioural addictions without concern or hesitation. Furthermore, numerous books, magazines, newspapers, and online media are keen to promote addictive behaviours related to gaming, smartphones, social media, and gambling. Many of these publications lack medical and scientific evidence, and the situation is confusing. Public, yet professional discussions based on accurate scientific knowledge and evidence are neglected.
Scientists must resolve the prevalence of disturbing sensationalism in today’s society through scientific and evidence-based public understanding. It is concerning that sensational and anxiety-inducing words are more widespread than scientifically accurate understanding; this situation should be resolved as quickly as possible. Research on behavioural addiction is new, and everything is “in progress.” Accelerating research and deepening public understanding are vital tasks for all researchers. Researchers should also examine whether the behavioural addiction concept is beneficial sociologically and psychiatrically. Again, we profoundly recognize the urgent need to sound the alarm about stories lacking scientific evidence.
These agendas are our mission and responsibility. We aim to be a source of hope for a better future. Our society was established as a platform to execute our honest pursuits.