World Health Organisation classifies gaming as addiction

World Health Organisation classifies gaming as addiction

The ICD is used internationally to diagnose and codify incidents of diseases and disorders, including - though not limited to - mental health conditions. The inclusion of a disorder in ICD is a consideration which countries take into account when planning public health strategies and monitoring trends of disorders.

Due to be published today, the WHO's International Classification of Diseases (ICD) will now include "Gaming Disorder".

Removing the mental health label from trans identity is a powerful and important signifier of acceptance, advocates and mental health professionals say.

The goal of including gaming disorder in the ICD is, in part, to bring more attention to the issue and raise the visibility of treatments for those seeking help for excessive video game playing, World Health Organization said. Of course, the disorder has been criticized from a number of corners, including health professionals who have written it off as being overly broad and subjective. "One of the benefits of moving it out of the mental disorder section is trying to reduce stigma".

In the newly issued WHO's International Classification of Diseases catalogue, which classifies more than 55,000 diseases, injuries and causes of death, "gender incongruence" is now listed under "conditions related to sexual health", instead of "mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental disorders".

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WHO said classifying "gaming disorder" as a separate addiction will help governments, families and health care workers be more vigilant and prepared to identify the risks.

However, she warns that video gaming addiction affects just a small percentage of the world's population - but adds that "it must be recognised" early, as it can "last a year before diagnosis".

Looking at the official classification from the WHO, Lewis reiterates that it is a "disorder" and in no way linked to "addiction", despite the BBC's use of the latter term.

Game over, so to speak, is to "significantly reduce the current gaps in knowledge that we have when it comes to the prevalence of these conditions and when it comes to their nature and management". The World Health Organization says they now should be on guard for a danger in the real world: spending too much time playing. In his experience, they're actually using gaming "more as a coping mechanism for either anxiety or depression". For example, if they stop socializing with people or going to work.

Despite what is - admittedly - a pretty even-handed handling of the situation, gaming organisations from around the world have expressed concern at the its inclusion.

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