World Health Organisation Classifies Gaming Addiction as a Mental Health Disorder

Gaming Addiction Is Now An Official Mental Health Disorder

The World Health Organization has classified gaming disorder for the first time. From there gaming addicts will supposedly exhibit "impaired control of these behaviors even when the negative consequences occur, this behavior continues or escalates". It is concerning to see the "gaming disorder" proposal in this draft despite significant opposition from the medical and scientific community.

"It enables us to understand so much about what makes people get sick and die, and to take action to prevent suffering and save lives", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said as the ICD was published. Separate from addiction, this refers to a pattern of gaming that "increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences for the individual or others around this individual".

The new ICD-11 is also able to better capture data regarding safety in healthcare, which means that unnecessary events that may harm health - such as unsafe workflows in hospitals - can be identified and reduced, the statement said.

WHO will be notifying governments that they'll be expected to add gaming disorder to their public health systems. The overwhelming majority of video game adepts are young, many in their teens. The obsessive pattern should be evident through a period of 12 months during which the individual's personal, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning is severely affected because of the activity.

But experts say parents of video game enthusiasts shouldn't panic.

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Responding to the decision to including gaming addiction, the Video Games Coalition - an industry lobby group - said their products were "enjoyed safely and sensibly by more than 2 billion people worldwide" across all kinds of genres, devices and platforms.

"And let me emphasise that this is a clinical condition, and clinical diagnosis can be made only by health professionals which are properly trained to do that", he noted. This is as per the draft of the new document that was released previous year.

The classification was also lambasted on social media, with users linking the concern about gaming addiction more to moral panic than solid evidence.

"The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent", reads the WHO's classification of gaming disorder.

Not everyone agrees with the World Health Organization that defining this condition will help patients.



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