Gaming Addiction Is Now An Official Mental Health Disorder

"Gaming disorder" is officially listed alongside gambling and other abnormalities caused by addictive behaviors. It forms a basis for the World Health Organisation and other experts to see and respond to trends in health.

However, Vladimir Poznyak of the WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse told New Scientist previous year, when the agency first revealed its decision to include gaming disorder in its diagnostic manual, that the move was supported by sufficient evidence.

How will the World Health Organization classification of gaming disorder affect Americans?

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

Dr. Levounis said he suspects the American Psychiatric Assocation will elevate gaming disorder to full-recognition status in the next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

A 2013 statement from the group said it's "a condition warranting more clinical research and experience before it might be considered for inclusion" in its manual.

To be clear, the medical community isn't exactly rushing in to take everyone's video games away.

Since gaming can result in feelings of pleasure and reward, spending excessive time in front of a screen can develop into an addiction.

The WHO said that if gaming takes precedence over daily activities and life interests, then it can be classed as gaming disorder.

The ICD-11 is still under review, so its content may shift. "Gamblers use money as a way of keeping score whereas gamers use points". "The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe".

It is believed that between 1% and 6% of young people are addicted to video games.

Saxena said parents and friends of video game enthusiasts should still be mindful of a potentially harmful problem.

This decision by the World Health Organization intends to encourage those whose lives are negatively effected by video games to come forward and seek help.

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