'Gaming Disorder' to be recognized as mental health condition for first time

29 December, 2017, 01:17 | Author: Clint Gray
  • WHO set to add video game addiction to worldwide list of mental health disorders

By adding "gaming disorder" to the ICD, WHO will make the health condition an official diagnosis that can be used by health care workers, including doctors, WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl told CNN.

The International Classification of Diseases is a diagnostic manualthat's published by the World Health Organization.

In a draft of the body's forthcoming 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD), WHO includes what is called "gaming disorder" on a list of mental health conditions.

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Counseling and behavior modification are the main treatments for gaming disorder, Tech Times reports. It was last updated 27 years ago, in 1990. It is unclear if symptoms that involve problematic video gaming behavior should be reified as a new disorder, or are the expression of underlying mental conditions. He's concerned that most studies done on gaming addiction are low quality.

A World Health Organization spokesperson pointed to the prevalence of gaming.

"I don't think people should always just jump to the conclusion because someone likes to play video games", Jones says.

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Researchers are still trying to understand the activity's risks and effects, since it has only recently become such a common pastime - 63% of USA households contain at least one "frequent gamer", a trait that didn't exist a couple of generations ago.

Some studies suggest that the same brain circuits involved in drug addiction may also be activated when individuals are engrossed in Internet gaming. It could contribute to a stigma around gaming that affects healthy gamers.

Second, some research has indicated that "video game addiction" is not a stable construct and clinical impairment might be low.

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Gamers compulsively play to the exclusion of other interests and their persistent gaming appears to endanger their academic or job functioning, the APA had said. The WHO's designation could help get folks in similar situations insurance benefits or convince professors to teach coping methods for gaming disorder to in-training psychologists, she said.

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