World Health Organization declares compulsive video gaming a mental disorder

Gaming Addiction Is Now An Official Mental Health Disorder

Take a peek at ICD-11's entry on "gambling disorder" and you'll find nearly identical language; In other words, video game addiction has become so notable that it's worth including in a global medical reference document, as the World Health Organization stated in its introduction to ICD-11.

The ICD is used by medical practitioners around the world to diagnose conditions and by researchers to categorize conditions.

In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association decided not to classify gaming addiction as a distinct disorder, and said it required further research alongside conditions such as caffeine use disorder. "Increased frequency and intensity" of gaming has been cited as a predominant attribute of the disorder.

Last year, a study from almost 30 academics opposed the gaming disorder classification, saying their addiction was best viewed as a coping mechanism associated with underlying problems such as anxiety or depression.

The World Health Organization (WHO) just announced Monday that it will no longer be classifying gender incongruence as a mental disorder. Those with the condition will keep gaming despite suffering negative consequences.

"Studies suggest that gaming disorder affects only a small proportion of people who engage in digital or video-gaming activities", a briefing on the disorder said. "We welcome the inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11, which will over time help to understand the true prevalence of harmful gaming".

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The inclusion of "gaming disorder" in WHO's revised catalogue of diseases met with resistence, both from industry and some experts.

A spokesperson for the British Psychological Society, however, cautioned parents about what qualifies as compulsively playing video games. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and learning ways to live with computers responsibly.

Due to this, the NHS, which is the Health Service in the United Kingdom, will be treating people who have this condition.

There are three characteristics of the gaming disorder, argues Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, a member of WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse and the researcher who proposed the new diagnosis, according to CNN.

Also for the first time, it is completely electronic and has a much more user-friendly format.

Those of us who game, however, have probably indulged ourselves on a binge of The Sims (or whatever your guilty pleasure is).

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