Video gaming disorder could soon be recognized by the World Health Organization

Dec 29, 2017, 01:03
Video gaming disorder could soon be recognized by the World Health Organization

In the Beta Draft for its next International Classification of Diseases (via CNN), the organization listed "Gaming Disorder" alongside its gambling counterpart and a number of other addictions. Not everyone who likes to play video games has gaming disorder - plenty of people play video games without getting a diagnosis. For nearly 30 years people's lifestyles have changed and that includes the growth of gaming in most people's lives.

Notable traits include patients prioritising gaming over "life interests and daily activities and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurence of negative consequences".

Doctors say when it causes 'impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning'.

If such a mental health condition diagnosis is included on the final ICD-11, countries around the world will be asked to consider the problem of gaming disorder when allocating resources for health care services.

According to the World Health Organization draft, the classification applies if the symptoms listed manifest over a period of at least 12 months in order for a proper diagnosis assignment. The move is a response to a long debate over whether video gaming can be addictive.

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The term "gaming disorder" isn't limited to simply excessive time spent playing video games in the entry.

A draft of the latest version of the manual, called ICD-11, posted online lists gaming disorder among "disorders due to addictive behaviours".

"The WHO move reflects growing awareness about this disorder - among health professionals, parents and teachers", said Manoj Sharma, associate professor of clinical psychology at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (Nimhans), Bangalore.

The WHO is considering labeling excess gaming as a mental health issue.

Rewari added he had friends that were failing school because of video game addiction.