Wednesday, 19 September, 2018

Video Game Addiction Classified As A Disorder By World Health Organization

Gaming disorder could soon be treated in public health sector WHO declares compulsive video gaming a mental disorder
Johnnie Parks | 20 June, 2018, 03:45

It is classified as a "pattern of gaming, either online or offline that appreciably increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences to the individual or to others around this individual".

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization added "gaming disorder" to its list of recognised and diagnosable diseases, as part of its 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases.

Yesterday, the World Health Organization announced that it had finalized its 11th International Classification of Diseases, and much like the draft did in December of past year, it includes the addition of gaming to its section of addictive disorders.

However, the formal decision to recognise the overuse of games as a mental health condition has been depicted as an overreaction.

He guessed that the percentage of video game players with a compulsive problem was likely to be extremely small - much less than 1% - and that many such people would likely have other underlying problems, like depression, bipolar disorder or autism. As its public listing reads, it is characterized by a pattern of "persistent or recurrent gaming behavior" including impaired control over frequency and duration, increasing priority to give gaming precedence over other "life interests and daily activities", and continuing to game despite negative consequences.

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"We now have a better understanding of the issues surrounding this condition, and they are not related to a mental health condition", a WHO official said. Cases similar to hers, where people place essential body functions such as eating and using the bathroom lower on their survival list than playing video games, are not rare.

This latest version, ICD-11, is completely electronic for the first time, in an effort to make it more accessible to doctors and other health workers around the world.

A growing awareness of how to effectively manage children's gaming habits is now becoming a key part of parenting.

In South Korea and the USA, clinics have sprung up to treat video game addiction, along with community and online support groups. Currently, gambling disorder is the only officially recognized behavioral addiction in the US, unlike in China and South Korea, which have rolled out treatment programs for gaming disorder. Of course, the disorder has been criticized from a number of corners, including health professionals who have written it off as being overly broad and subjective.

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'.

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