'Gaming Disorder' Now Officialy Recognized as a Mental illness

Gaming Addiction Is Now An Official Mental Health Disorder

"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".

Take a peek at ICD-11's entry on "gambling disorder" and you'll find nearly identical language; In other words, video game addiction has become so notable that it's worth including in a global medical reference document, as the World Health Organization stated in its introduction to ICD-11.

Still, not all medical officials believe gaming disorder is a stand-alone condition.

"The person does so much gaming that other interests and activities are ignored, including sleeping and eating", Saxena said by phone.

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

"This is an occasional or transitory behaviour", he said, adding that only if such behaviour persists for around a year could a potential diagnosis of a disorder be made.

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Video Game Addiction is Real Disease
The World Health Organisation ( WHO ) will officially be classing addiction to video games as a disorder from today. ICD-11, which has been over a decade in the making, provides significant improvements on previous versions.

The move means that people will now be able to receive treatment for their addictions to video games and that the NHS in the United Kingdom will be able to provide treatment to children addicted to games free of charge.

"Video games across all kinds of genres, devices and platforms are enjoyed safely and sensibly by more than 2 billion people worldwide, with the educational, therapeutic, and recreational value of games being well-founded and widely recognised", the statement reads.

It stated that gaming disorder is characterised by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online or offline. The overwhelming majority of video game adepts are young, many in their teens.

"Gender incongruence, meanwhile, has also been moved out of mental disorders in the ICD, into sexual health conditions", the report says.

Since gaming can result in feelings of pleasure and reward, spending excessive time in front of a screen can develop into an addiction. Welcoming WHO's decision, he said it would bring more acceptance even among the victims that they have a disease and help is available.

While treatment for gaming disorder is in its early stages, Saxena says the "message for parents, colleagues, and friends" is to avoid the stigma surrounding the issue and says addicts should be able to seek professional help.

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