ESA Issues Statement On WHO "Gaming Disorder" Diagnosis

Video game addiction has become the latest mental health disorder to be named by the World Health Organization.

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.

For instance, some people working on stroke have always been pushing for it to be moved from circulatory diseases, where it has been for 6 decades, into neurological disease, where it now sits in ICD-11. To be diagnosed, the behavior pattern must be severe enough that it interferes with aspects of personal, family, social, educational, and/or occupational functioning for at least 12 months. Those with the condition will keep gaming despite suffering negative consequences. That could stem from time sunk into gaming, or neglecting other priorities, or from risky behaviors associated with it (like, say, forgetting to eat or sleep).

If your child gets sucked into a game for a few days, but goes back to normal after that, they wouldn't qualify: Instead, people must engage in this behavior for at least 12 months, World Health Organization says.

It stated that gaming disorder is characterised by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online or offline.

The highly influential IDC is a gold standard for diagnostic classification, because it helps doctors around the world track trends of diseases and mental disorders.

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"Video gaming is like a non-financial kind of gambling from a psychological point of view", said Griffiths, a distinguished professor of behavioural addiction at Nottingham Trent University.

WHO will be notifying governments that they'll be expected to add gaming disorder to their public health systems. The World Health Organization says classifying "Gaming Disorder" as a separate condition will "serve a public health goal for countries to be better prepared to identify this issue".

WHO's Saxena, however, estimated that two to three percent of gamers might be affected.

The new ICD also includes for the first time a chapter on traditional medicines, used by millions of people around the world.

Last week, the Mirror UK reported that a 9-year old girl was sent to rehab for video game addiction. Those who partake in gaming should be aware of time spent on gaming activity when it excludes other daily activities. The overwhelming majority of video game adepts are young, many in their teens.

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