Marked by significant psychological distress, Clinical Renewal Withdrawal Syndrome (CRWS) is a generalized psychiatric disorder classified under the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV
) as an "Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Anxiety and Depressed Mood."
CRWS occurs in persons with insatiable desires to play competitive video games online. These addicts usually play with a relatively consistent group of players or friends. CRWS occurs when a player loses a member of his/her group of typical teammates - leading to maladaptive behavior.
Often the patient will exhibit agitated and aggressive behavior, involuntary finger compulsions and eye twitching (believed to be simulating that of gameplay), loss of appetite, and mental confusion. The later is believed to be a direct result of the loss of a leader figure. Consequently, it is not uncommon for a CRWS sufferer to become inappropriately attached to any person(s) viewed as an authority figure (e.g. law enforcement officers, teachers, coaches). Until recently, CRWS has not been observed in a clinical setting. Research done in early 2009 by Barry A. Kraiggen, M.D., Ph.D. showed that a decline in academic work is correlated with CRWS in a staggering 96.2% of cases.
Further research is needed to confidently prescribe a definitive method of treatment for CRWS sufferers. However, independent trials are being run by Dr. Erin B. Olivander, and Jakob O. Keetings, Ed.D at the DEBO clinic. Initial findings suggest that the return of the sufferer to his/her game routine will immediately dissolve the condition. Pharmaceuticals (including: benzodiazepines, SSRIs, and atypical antidepressants) are found to be less than optimal in reducing anxiety in CRWS patients (with the exception of mirtazapine). The research being done at the DEBO clinic is still in its infancy stages, and additional material on the subject will likely not be released until the spring of 2010.