Published: Tue, June 19, 2018
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Excessive gaming is now a mental health disorder

Excessive gaming is now a mental health disorder

About 2.6 billion people around the globe play video games on a regular basis, and while it has been proven that gaming can be beneficial, many people have also become addicted.

The WHO released the latest version of its International Classification of Diseases, ICD-11, today, and among the changes from the previous iteration is that "gaming disorder" has been added to the section on addictive disorders.

Dr. Joan Harvey, a spokeswoman for the British Psychological Society, warned that the new designation might cause unnecessary concern among parents.

"Much confusion remains - even among authors supporting the diagnosis - regarding what, exactly, gaming disorder is".

"Beyond accurate labelling, what we actually need is to help parents guide their children towards gaming health from a young age", he said.

"One is that the gaming behavior takes precedence over other activities to the extent that other activities are taken to the periphery", he told CNN. The agency and other experts were quick to note that cases of the condition are still very rare, with no more than up to 3 per cent of all gamers believed to be affected.

Since a year ago, the World Health Organisation has tried to pin down video gaming that has a net negative impact on life as a disorder - but it was originally a bit wishy-washy in what it classed as a disorder.

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WHO has said that gaming disorder is a serious health condition that requires monitoring.

"We acknowledge there could be benefits to formalising gaming disorder, many of which were highlighted by colleagues in their commentaries, but we think they do not yet outweigh the wider societal and public health risks involved".

The WHO stressed that only a small number of people who use digital or video games develop gaming disorder.

In South Korea and the United States, clinics have sprung up to treat video game addiction, along with community and online support groups.

We can not publish anything from under 16s without parents' permission.

Visitors play video games on June 12, 2018, at a Nintendo of America Inc. booth at E3, a large-scale computer and video game event held in Los Angeles.

It's only natural that the news would make you give your child's gaming system the side-eye. "It could take 6-8 weeks of intense cognitive therapy during which they are taught how to handle the craving for playing games, how to counter discomfort, if not gaming what else they can do", he said.

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