Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2019 Aug 25;7(16):2638-2642. doi: 10.3889/oamjms.2019.476.
Background: Internet game playing is experiencing rapid growth in both youth and adult populations. The excess playing this game cause negative consequences, including game addiction. Internet Gaming Disorder is an increasingly prevalent disorder, which can have severe consequences in affected young people and their life.
Aim: To observe the depressive syndrome and dopamine transporter condition (DAT) to find out the severity of internet gaming disorder.
Methods: To analyse the relationship between IGD and Depressive Syndrome and to analyse the relationship between IGD and DAT in online games player by using Spearman Rank Correlation Analysis. Depression testing is done by using the Patient Health Questionnaire-9 method (PHQ-9). The sample of the experiments of this research was 48 online games players in the internet cafe at Medan Area sub-district, which ages between 20 – 40 years old and have been playing games for at least 12 months.
Results: It was found that there was strong one-way relation (0.625) between IGD and PHQ-9 significantly (p < 0.01), however, it was found that strong enough (-0.465) relation between IGD and DAT (p < 0.01) and strong opposite relation (-0.680) between PHQ-9 and DAT (p < 0.01).
Conclusion: There was a relationship between Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) with depressive symptoms and Dopamine Transporter (DAT) level. PHQ-9 score was higher in people with a higher score of IGDS9-SF. As well as DAT level, there was opposite strong enough correlation between IGD and DAT that indicating the higher IGD score, the lower DAT level.
Keywords: DAT; Gamers; IGD; PHQ.
The present study is probably the first to examine the relationship between Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) with depressive disorder and dopamine transporter (DAT) in Indonesia. The result showed that there was a relationship between IGD, depressive syndrome and DAT significantly. Depression screening can be done by using the Patient instrument Health Questionnaire-9 (PHQ-9). PHQ-9 is a scale depression with nine items to help in diagnoses depression . In this study, we use the PHQ-9 scale to see the severity of the depressive syndrome experienced by people with IGD. Based on this study, subjects with IGD have PHQ-9 score higher than ten that indicate a moderate depressive syndrome. As we already know, depression can be characterised by loss of interest or pleasure in several activities almost every day. As shown in this study, our samples claimed to have lost interest in previous hobbies and other entertainment activities when playing online games. This is in line with research by Manniko, Billieux, and Kaariainen in 2015 . They also ignore the sensation of fatigue, hunger, thirst, etc .
Depression is also associated with premature loss of sleep (slow-wave) and increased consciousness at night (arousal). Individuals who play excessive online games will ignore the sensation of fatigue that causes the neglection of sleep and having a low quality of sleep. In our knowledge, this can cause depressive symptoms as recognised by the subjects of this study .
The samples of this study also claimed that they would feel irritable, anxious, or sad if they are kept away from online games. This shows that there are withdrawal symptoms experienced by people who play excessive online games, one of which is depression .
Neurotransmitters such as DA, serotonin (5-HT) had an important role in drug and alcohol dependence, especially by mediating the mechanism of dopamine reward and symptoms of withdrawal . The consistency with evidence in the drug and alcohol addiction associated with poor dopamine reward activity, samples with IGD showed a decrease in the level of availability of Dopamine D2 receptors in the striatum and reduced availability of sterile DAT. In our study, we found that people with IGD have a lower DAT concentration, which in line with the study done by Weinstein in 2017 .
In conclusion, our findings support earlier finding that there was a relationship between Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) with depressive symptoms dan Dopamine Transporter (DAT) level. PHQ-9 score was higher in people with a higher score of IGDS9-SF. As well as DAT level, there was opposite strong enough correlation between IGD and DAT that indicating the higher IGD score, the lower DAT level.