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Compulsive video-game playing now new mental health problem, says WHO

21 June 2018, 04:42 | Rodolfo Wallace

Gaming disorder is a real thing says WHO which has added it to their IDC this year

Video games

Video game addiction will soon become a diagnosable metal health condition, at least in the eyes of leading global health officials.

The WHO released its new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), which had been over a decade in the making, on 18 June. A diagnosis of "gaming disorder" then means that a "persistent or recurrent" behavior pattern of "sufficient severity" has emerged, according to the ICD.

It says studies suggest that gaming disorder affects 2-3pc of people who play video games.

In addition, the ICD states that any person who is giving precedence to gaming over any other activities in life and also continued gaming in spite of negative consequences in other areas of life is also attributed to the addiction.

The ICD-11 defines gaming disorder as a pattern of gaming behaviour - "digital-gaming" or "video-gaming".

World Health Organization has defined gaming disorder, is such a way that a person can be said to suffer from this condition if they meet the following three criteria as a pattern for at least a one year period only after which this diagnoses can be made.

An estimated 2.6 billion people worldwide play video games, according to the Entertainment Software Association, a U.S. body representing video game publishers.

It's not uncommon for people to get addicted to games.

But the definition is controversial - not everyone agrees that it's the right thing to classify excessive gaming as a disorder.

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However, not all psychologists agree that this "gaming disorder" is worthy of inclusion in the International Classification of Diseases, known as the ICD.

The inclusion of "gaming disorder" in WHO's revised catalogue of diseases met with resistance, both from industry and some experts. According to the World Health Organization, the disorder is rare.

World Health Organization accepted the proposal that Gaming Disorder should be listed as a new issue based on scientific evidence.

"Millions of gamers around the world, even when it comes to the intense gaming, would never qualify as people suffering from gaming disorder", he added. "(It) undermines the ability of public health professions to do their jobs if we're second-guessing them and their work".

The doctor from Cognitive Behavioral Consultants in White Plains says parents should set limits on their children's gaming and seek help when the habit impacts their life away from the game controller.

Terry O'Sullivan, of Blennerville NS in Co Kerry, said there had been concerns about children's use of video games and apps.

Saxena said parents and friends of video game enthusiasts should still be mindful of a potentially harmful problem.

"Gaming disorder" is officially listed alongside gambling and other abnormalities caused by addictive behaviors.



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