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WHO Will Classify 'Gaming Disorder' as Mental Illness in 2018

29 December 2017, 01:13 | Lucy Hill

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

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It is important to stress that since the document is only a draft at this stage, there's a fair chance that some alterations will be made to the wording of the description, the name of the condition or how doctors might diagnose Gaming Disorder. Nonetheless, the recent proposals around gaming disorder from respected bodies such as the World Health Organization and the American Psychiatric Association seem to lock much of the applied research into a confirmatory trajectory.

Starting in 2018, playing video games excessively may be recognized as a "gaming disorder", a mental illness characterized by a lack of control over one's gaming habits. Like other types of addiction, gaming disorder affects a person's ability to function in everyday life. It was last updated 27 years ago, in 1990.

Play too many video games? "We've also seen gaming addiction leading to sleep disturbances, poor eating, irritability and loss of productivity", he said.

That's concerning news for the thousands of people who got a game under the tree for Christmas.

WHO experts believe gaming can be a serious mental health issue which should be closely monitored.

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World Health Organization defines gaming behavior as "impaired control over gaming" (ie, how often and for how long one plays game), "increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests", and "continuation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences", (such as being fired, or missing too much school).

Some studies suggest that the same brain circuits involved in drug addiction may also be activated when individuals are engrossed in Internet gaming. Not everyone who likes to play video games has gaming disorder - plenty of people play video games without getting a diagnosis. It could contribute to a stigma around gaming that affects healthy gamers.

There's no debate that video game addiction destroys lives.

She says parents need to be involved, especially when kids receive new games for Christmas.

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