Gaming to be recognised as mental Health disorder by WHO in 2018

Control over video games or controlled by video games?
World Health Organization May Recognize "Gaming Disorder" in 2018
Author

29 December, 2017

"The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous or episodic and recurrent", reads the entry.

The disorder is characterised by impaired control with increasing priority given to gaming despite negative consequences.

The symptoms of "gaming disorder" are actually not all that different from a more traditional substance abuse disorder, save for the hangovers and physical withdrawals. That apparently holds true for video games, according to the World Health Organization.

Further, "the behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning".

According to the World Health Organization, gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent gaming behaviour, which may be online or offline and evident over a period of at least 12 months.

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"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.

This isn't a particularly new realization, as there have been rehab centers for gaming addiction founded in the past.

By adding "gaming disorder" to the ICD, WHO will make the health condition an official diagnosis that can be used by health care workers, including doctors, WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told CNN.

The World Health Organisation is preparing to classify persistent video gaming for the first time as an addictive health disorder, three years after India set up its first government-run clinic for people with gaming and mobile phone addiction. Not everyone who likes to play video games has gaming disorder - plenty of people play video games without getting a diagnosis.

The WHO decision was hailed by many experts as they know video games can be addictive, yet the issue has been rarely discussed.


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