World Health Organization classifies video game addiction as a disorder


In its latest edition of the International Classification of Diseases, "gender dysphoria" - or transgenderism, in layman's terms - is not listed as a mental disorder any longer, but as a "gender incongruence", which has also been moved out of the mental disorder category.

Psychiatrist Richard Graham, who led the launch of the UK's first technology addiction service specifically for young people at Nightingale Hospital, London, said there was an important difference between enthusiastic gameplay and the new disorder.

Member states are expected to vote on the document at the World Health Assembly in Geneva in May 2019.

But All Gamers Have Mental Disorder?

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In the 11th revision of its International Classification of Diseases, the group included gaming disorder as an addictive behavior disorder.

Gaming disorder rubs shoulders with conditions such as gambling disorder, substance abuse, and addictive hoarding in the ICD.

Mental health experts have long spoken out against the harmful effects of prolonged gaming, but this is the first time that it is being officially recognised as a mental health disorder by the global body.

The disorder affects no more than 3 percent of gamers, the Associated Press reported, with some estimates as low as one percent.

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Despite some pushback from various places, including the Entertainment Software Association, the WHO Has nonetheless made a decision to go ahead and keep the disorder in its finalized classifications.

The games industry raked in $108-billion dollars (R1.4-trillion) worldwide in 2017, more than double movie box-office receipts, according to Superdata, which tracks the games and interactive media sector.

There are three major diagnostic features or characteristics of gaming disorder, Poznyak explained. "It's a little bit premature to label this as a diagnosis", Bean said. WHO, however, says people who engage in gaming should be alert about the amount of time they spend on gaming activities. Anthony Bean, a licensed psychologist and executive director at The Telos Project, argues that gaming "more as a coping mechanism for either anxiety or depression".

"I think in the modern era, and how kids interact with their friends, it's no different than going out and playing out with them", Rairdin said. Who stay up, play too much, don't look after themselves, they're willing to throw away friendships over video games.

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Simply playing a lot of video games does not automatically mean that someone has a problem.