Monday, 22 April, 2019

World Health Organization adds 'gaming disorder' to latest ICD

Gaming Addiction Is Now An Official Mental Health Disorder WHO declares compulsive video gaming a mental disorder
Celia Hoffman | 19 June, 2018, 20:26

Dr Bowden-Jones said gaming addictions were usually best treated with psychological therapies, but that some medicines might also work.

Many parents will have thought it for a long time, but they now have a new argument to limit their children's "screen time" after addiction to video games was recognised as a mental health disorder.

The ICD is used internationally to diagnose and codify incidents of diseases and disorders, including - though not limited to - mental health conditions.

So-called "shooter games" such as "Fortnite" - described on the support website Game Quitters as the "hottest game in the world" - are either played online or on offline consoles.

Griffiths said playing video games, for the vast majority of people, is more about entertainment and novelty, citing the overwhelming popularity of games like Pokemon Go.

For this draft, the manual lists two kinds of possible gaming disorders.

The WHO stressed that only a small number of people who use digital or video games develop gaming disorder.

More news: More OPPO Find X leaks reveal how the camera may operate

It added that a gaming disorder can be manifested if a person prioritizes gaming "to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities" and it continues to escalate "despite the occurrence of negative consequences".

Following on from an exciting week of new video game releases at E3 in Los Angeles, the subject of game addiction has become a recurring one.

Poznyak said the condition leads to "significant distress and impairment in personal, family, social, educational or occupational functioning". Housing almost 55,000 medical issues, the ICD-11 is used for clinical care, research, and is rarely given major revisions, so it is a legitimately big deal that gaming addiction has been added to its pages.

The statement continued: "The evidence for its inclusion remains highly contested and inconclusive".

It's worth noting that WHO's stance on gaming addiction is different from that of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), the handbook used by health professionals in the USA and other countries to help diagnose mental health disorders. We are therefore concerned to see "gaming disorder" still contained in the latest version of the WHO's ICD-11 despite significant opposition from the medical and scientific community.

Several new chapters appear in the first update of WHO's International Classification of Diseases catalogue since the 1990s, including the one on sexual health.

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