Wednesday, 18 July, 2018

Gaming Addiction Is Now An Official Mental Health Disorder

WHO declares compulsive video gaming a mental disorder WHO Lists ‘Gaming Disorder,’ Or Video Game Addiction, As A Mental Health Condition
Melissa Porter | 20 June, 2018, 22:26

The new ICD-11 is set to be presented to the World Health Assembly for adoption by the member states in the month of May 2019 and is scheduled to come in effect on January 1, 2022.

The WHO decision to list gaming as a disorder in the publication which helps the agency chart health trends has been welcomed by many who agree that it is easy to become addicted to the virtual world.

The inclusion lets health officials be on the lookout of gaming disorder, then provide help to people who are diagnosed with this condition.

"Nonetheless, gaming disorder can be very harmful and not something people can easily get over on their own, but with the right treatment they can".

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.

Those behaviours, according to the World Health Organization, can significantly impair people's personal, family, social, educational, occupational and other important areas of functioning.

The International Classification of Diseases was last revised 28 years ago.

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

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 WHO only removed homosexuality from its ICD classification with the publication of ICD-10 in 1992. The U.S. video game industry - through its Entertainment Software Association lobbying group - threw its support behind several academics who opposed the WHO's efforts when it confirmed a year ago that they would include "gaming disorder" as a condition.

Director of WHO's Department for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Shekhar Saxena, describes some of the warning signs of addictive Gaming behavior.

The new classification is set to matter significantly and would open new frontiers as far as research into the issue of gaming is concerned.

According to studies, gaming disorder affects only a small proportion of people who engage in digital-gaming or video-gaming activities.

"Gaming disorder has been added to the section on addictive disorders", the World Health Organization said in a statement. It should be a matter for concern if one excludes other daily activities to be able to keep playing, or ignores any changes in physical or psychological health and social functioning.

The manual defines gaming disorder as "characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior", and puts emphasis on online game play.