World Health Organization classifies 'Gaming Disorder' as a disease

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 19, 2018

The recognition comes five years after the American Psychiatric Association added "Internet Gaming Disorder" to their latest list of disorders, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders edition 5 (or DSM-5), as a 'Condition for Further Study' - meaning that leaders in the field are aware of the issue and want to see more research.

The ICD is also used by health insurers whose reimbursements depend on ICD classifications.

Addiction to video games is officially a mental health condition now.

Removing the mental health label from trans identity is a powerful and important signifier of acceptance, advocates and mental health professionals say. 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). "The WHO should consider the mounting evidence put before them before inclusion next year of "gaming disorder" in the final version of ICD-11". "One of the benefits of moving it out of the mental disorder section is trying to reduce stigma".

Experts believe it might increase the chances that insurance companies cover treatment for video game addiction, which is often costly.

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.

World Health Organization said this situation is severe enough to result in "significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning". Currently, gambling disorder is the only officially recognized behavioral addiction in the USA, unlike in China and South Korea, which have rolled out treatment programs for gaming disorder. "But it's crucial to remember that it affects only a small percentage of gamers", he added. The latest edition also has a new chapter on traditional medicine. "However, their prevalence has been increasing to such an alarming degree that we welcome the official World Health Organization recognition as it can help propel further research and provision of services".

In general, parents should limit the amount of screen time their children have daily, and gaming is included in that, along with TV, computers, phones, and tablet use, Gina Posner, MD, a pediatrician at MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center in Fountain Valley, Calif., tells Yahoo Lifestyle. Many of people on social media have said how stupid this is to have an addiction for gaming. "Most play games for more than 10-14 hours a day".

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