Gaming addiction classified as mental health disorder by WHO

20 June, 2018, 07:57 | Author: Denise Dawson
  • Playing video games compulsively now qualifies as new mental health problem

World Health Organisation (WHO) said classifying "Gaming Disorder" as a separate condition will help governments, families and health care workers be more vigilant and prepared to identify the risks.

Some 2.5 billion people - one in three worldwide - play some form of free-to-play screen game, especially on cell phones, but the disorder affects only a "small minority", said Saxena.

The World Health Organization on Monday said that compulsively playing video games classifies as a mental health condition.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, gender dysphoria is "a conflict between a person's physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify".

Homosexuality was removed from the ICD in 1992 with the publication of the ICD-10. And in South Korea, at least two children have starved to death, likely because their caretaking parents were busy playing video games.

A new chapter also has been added on traditional medicine.

Dr Shekhar Saxena, director for the department for mental health from the WHO, told Euronews in a conference call, that video gaming disorder "can be present at any age" but particularly in adolescents and the young.

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The UN health agency said classifying "Gaming Disorder" as a separate condition will 'serve a public health objective for countries to be better prepared to identify this issue'.

The WHO describes addiction to digital and video gaming as "a pattern of "persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour" that is so extensive it "takes precedence over other life interests". If your child gets sucked into a game for a few days, but goes back to normal after that, they wouldn't qualify: Instead, people must engage in this behavior for at least 12 months, World Health Organization says.

The ICD is the basis for identification of health trends and statistics globally and the global standard for reporting diseases and health conditions.

Maybe more consumers will push back against video game makers who design their products to be addictive with the same sort of uproar we've seen about tobacco and opioids.

The ICD is an annual publication released by the WHO which is used internationally as a 'standard diagnostic tool for health management and clinical purposes'. The research supporting inclusion is highly contested and inconclusive. "We understand that our industry and supporters around the world will continue raising their voices in opposition to this move and urge the WHO to avoid taking steps that would have unjustified implications for national health systems across the world".

Honestly, "gaming disorder" sounds like a phrase tossed around by irritated parents and significant others.

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