Compulsive video-game playing now new mental health problem

Compulsive video-game playing now new mental health problem

Compulsive video-game playing now new mental health problem

Addiction to digital and video gaming has been classified as a mental health disorder by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in its new International Classification of Diseases (ICD). It is concerning to see the "gaming disorder" proposal in this draft despite significant opposition from the medical and scientific community.

Finally, this behavior needs to lead to significant distress and impairment in somebody's personal life, family dynamics, social relationships or occupational functioning.

Now, the World Health Organization wants to include 'gaming disorder' in the new edition of the ICD.

"The person does so much gaming that other interests and activities are ignored, including sleeping and eating", Saxena said by phone.

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The behavior is usually evident over a period of at least 12 months for the diagnosis to be assigned, although it may be a shorter period if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe. Most of the roughly 160 million American adults who play games online will not experience the addiction. "For the vast majority it is a recreational activity. We welcome the inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11, which will over time help to understand the true prevalence of harmful gaming".

And yet, that hasn't spotted the larger game industry from coming forward to criticize the diagnosis.

"ICD is a cornerstone of health information and ICD-11 will deliver an up-to-date view of the patterns of disease", said Lubna Alansari, WHO's Assistant Director-General (Health Metrics and Measurement). There is no objective evidence to define and diagnose this disorder and the research supporting inclusion is highly contested and inconclusive.

World Health Organization released a definition for the disorder earlier in the year.

About 2.6 billion people around the globe play video games on a regular basis, and while it has been proven that gaming can be beneficial, many people have also become addicted. The manual's last revision occurred way back in 1992, and it desperately needs fixes to benefit today's medical professionals. He noted that the diagnostic criteria for gaming disorder, including preoccupation and unsuccessful attempts to control behavior, are "strikingly" similar to the symptoms of drug and alcohol addiction.

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