Excessive video gaming to be named mental health disorder

Excessive video gaming to be named mental health disorder

Gaming Disorder will be added to the official list of diseases by WHO.

The ICD-11, which contains medical coding to classify diseases, will have Gaming Disorder listed under "Disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviors" in the Mental Disorders section of the diagnostic manual.

Symptoms include not being able to control when and how you play video games, or choosing games over other interests in life, even when there's negative consequences.

That's concerning news for the thousands of people who got a game under the tree for Christmas.

In 2012, the American Psychological Association (APA) published a study linking excessive preoccupation with video gaming to impulsivity and attention problems. The manual was last updated in 1990.

But to be clear, this doesn't mean that all gaming is addictive or could lead to a disorder.




WHO experts believe gaming can be a serious mental health issue which should be closely monitored.

"People do what they do to escape or avoid pain and we find that that's true with video games as well", Mental health counselor Bobbi Burks says.

Bobbi Burks is a counselor who specializes in addiction therapy. They are the same questions used to determine if someone has an alcohol addiction, Forbes magazine says. She is supportive of the World Health Organization draft.

Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for the World Health Organization, said the new ICD-11 entry on gaming disorder "includes only a clinical description and not prevention and treatment options". Obsession can lead to other unhealthy habits, she said.

Rae acknowledges that lots of gamers don't have a problematic relationship to their favorite media, but referenced a patient whose teeth rotted out of his mouth while he couldn't stop himself from going at it. "They dismiss what this person is experiencing".

Scientists need to "establish a clear-cut distinction between someone who may use games excessively but non-problematically and someone who is experiencing significant impairment in their daily lives as a outcome of their excessive gaming", a group of researchers from Nottingham Trent University in the United Kingdom wrote in a paper published last summer in the Journal of Addictive Behavior.

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