Video gaming addiction is now a mental disorder, says WHO

Video gaming addiction is now a mental disorder, says WHO

Having a Gaming addiction has been listed in the World Health Organisations global classification of Diseases for the first time ever meaning governments around the world are expected to add it into their countries health system.

"Millions of gamers around the world, even when it comes to the intense gaming, would never qualify as people suffering from gaming disorder", he said, adding that the overall prevalence of this condition is "very low". Among these new classifications is official recognition for "gaming addiction" which covers an unhealthy obsession with playing video games.

"And let me emphasize that this is a clinical condition, and clinical diagnosis can be made only by health professionals which are properly trained to do that".

Screen time isn't recommended at all for kids who are 18 months or younger, but for children who are older than that up to five, it's generally recommended that they have not more than one hour of screen time, she says.

The UN health agency said that classifying "Gaming Disorder" as a separate condition will "serve a public health objective for countries to be better prepared to identify this issue".

While mental health practitioners are one key audience, the document is also instrumental among health insurers, who use its classifications to decide on reimbursement and more. Do you believe that gaming, like other substance-free addictions such as gambling, can really take over your life?

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"People need to understand this doesn't mean every child who spends hours in their room playing games is an addict, otherwise medics are going to be flooded with requests for help", Dr. Joan Harvey said.

To be diagnosed with gaming disorder, a person's behavior must significantly impact other important aspects of their life, such as their relationships or their ability to hold down a job.

The move means that people will now be able to receive treatment for their addictions to video games and that the NHS in the United Kingdom will be able to provide treatment to children addicted to games free of charge. "These include gaming disorder, which evidence shows is enough of a health problem that it requires tracking through the ICD".

The disorder is listed in the 11 edition of the World Health Organization worldwide classification of diseases, which published on Monday. The American Psychiatric Association identified "Internet Gaming Disorder" as an area for further study in the 2013 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the central resource for identifying and diagnosing disorders in the United States. The statement is highly critical, citing contested and inconclusive data and concerns of misdiagnosis.

The ICD-11 isn't yet finished, though: The publication won't be endorsed as a final release until 2019, and won't be fully adopted until 2022.

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