Video game addiction officially added to World Health Organization disease list

Pic Getty Images

Pic Getty Images

A public health nurse is taking issue with the World Health Organization (WHO) for deciding that "gaming disorder" is a mental health condition.

The U.N. health agency said that the addition of gaming disorders in the ICD-11 would also help to further treatment strategies, and experts agree.

The latest catalogue also includes new chapters on video gaming and recognises gaming disorder as a pathological condition, considered addictive in the same way as cocaine.

In other words, if excessive gaming is having a continual and sustained negative effect on the rest of your life, then you're suffering from gaming disorder. If you are a video game enthusiast or at least know others that love to spend hours playing games you might be interested in the three major diagnostic features or characteristics of gaming disorder. Of course, the disorder has been criticized from a number of corners, including health professionals who have written it off as being overly broad and subjective.

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"I'm not creating a precedent", Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, a member of WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, explains in a CNN report. One, that the gaming behaviour takes precedence over other activities to the extent that other activities are pushed to the periphery.

He guessed that the percentage of video game players with a compulsive problem was likely to be extremely small - much less than 1% - and that many such people would likely have other underlying problems, like depression, bipolar disorder or autism.

"As our knowledge of our diseases and conditions changes, so does the ICD". There is no objective evidence to define and diagnose overuse and that may result in misdiagnosis.

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There's another related condition that's new to ICD-11: Hazardous gaming.

However, video gaming addiction appears to be treated in a similar way as how the World Health Organization described a gambling addiction. A version called internet gaming disorder first appeared in the DSM-5.

In its latest revision to a disease classification manual called the International Classification of Diseases, or I.C.D., the United Nations health agency explains the change and why it has (finally) removed the transgender mental disorder classification.

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