WHO Classifies ‘Gaming Disorder’ As Mental Health Condition

WHO Classifies ‘Gaming Disorder’ As Mental Health Condition

With the rise of parental concerns into children's use of video games, the World Health Organisation has classified gaming addiction as a mental health disorder.

Ukie, the Association for UK Interactive Entertainment, created a "gaming disorder" FAQ about the proposed inclusion, including details about what the ICD-11 list is, their concerns for classifying "gaming disorder" alongside other disorders such as alcohol, drugs and gambling, and an Open Debate paper by 36 global mental health experts, social scientists and academic scholars opposing the inclusion due to lack of scientific study. This means that those diagnosed will be entitled to be treated by the NHS. The World Health Organization says it has to have happened over at least a year.

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

The move comes amid increasing evidence of young players suffering psychological distress and family breakdown as a result of their addiction. "These include gaming disorder, which evidence shows is enough of a health problem that it requires tracking through the ICD".

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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So what is gaming disorder? That could stem from time sunk into gaming, or neglecting other priorities, or from risky behaviors associated with it (like, say, forgetting to eat or sleep).

Geneva: Transgender people, who identify as the opposite gender to the one they were born with, should no longer be considered mentally ill, according to a new United Nations categorisation. All this could be attributed to their pattern of gaming behaviour. For example, if they stop socializing with people or going to work. These games are commonly played on electronic and video devices.

"The WHO does mention, though, that the prevalence of gaming disorder is very low", and that while millions of people across the globe love intense gaming sessions, it would be hard to qualify them as people suffering from gaming disorder just on the basis of that.

"My nephew gets stuck on it, and he does it all night long", one person said about their relative's video game habits.

"Gaming disorder" is officially listed alongside gambling and other abnormalities caused by addictive behaviors. Working full-time, he keeps active by playing sport, but he said it was "totally understandable" that gaming can become addictive.

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