WHO to recognise 'gaming disorder' as mental health condition in 2018

So much so World Health Organization will recognize gaming addiction as a mental disorder.

In its current draft of the latest edition of the International Classification of Diseases, the World Health Organization defines the disorder as a recurring behavior pattern that significantly impairs a person's personal, social and work life.

Notable traits include patients prioritising gaming over "life interests and daily activities and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurence of negative consequences".

The ICD is used by health professionals globally and serves as an global standard for defining health conditions and diseases. For nearly 30 years people's lifestyles have changed and that includes the growth of gaming in most people's lives.

In 2014, a 27-year-old Chinese woman suffered sudden death after playing video games for over 10 consecutive hours.

The behaviour pattern of obsessive gaming could lead to an impairment in your personal life, job or education, according to the WHO. Doctors are advised to look for telltale signs like social isolation, appetite loss, antisocial behavior and withdrawal symptoms.

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"I do see how you might get a little addiction to a video game", Prince said.

The revised version of the manual is slated to appear in 2018 and is expected to classify addiction to video games as a separate condition called "gaming disorder".

"Can't believe they're trying to make "gaming disorder" a mental health condition LOL", he tweeted.

This isn't a particularly new realization, as there have been rehab centers for gaming addiction founded in the past. First, the current approaches to understanding "gaming addiction" are rooted in substance abuse research and approaches do not necessarily translate to media consumption.

The WHO decision was hailed by many experts as they know video games can be addictive, yet the issue has been rarely discussed.


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