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'Gaming Disorder' May Be Named a Mental Health Condition

'Gaming Disorder' May Be Named a Mental Health Condition
"Gaming disorder" may soon be an official mental health condition. (Charlesknox/Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 December 2017 05:33 PM

Video gamers could officially be suffering from a mental health condition called "gaming disorder" if officials from the World Health Organization have their way.

The consideration was revealed in a draft of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which is not yet finalized but could recognize gaming as a disorder if it causes addictive behavior.

Like other disorders such as gambling, gaming disorder could arise if a player loses control over the gaming habit, prioritizes gaming over other interests and activities, and continues gaming even if it has negative consequences, according to the draft.

Gaming activities can be played on one’s personal computer or through apps on smartphones. Such activities would be called addictive if they “result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning,” the draft reads.

A gaming disorder diagnosis would take place if the behavior is noticed over a period of 12 months or if “all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.”

If the definition becomes official in the 11th version of the ICD, it would mean doctors, healthcare workers, and insurance companies could diagnose the behavior.

Researchers in psychology have already been discussing and debating the issue of gaming as a disorder, attempting to define the difference between spending a lot of time at it and addiction.

In 2013, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for the American Psychiatric Association described internet gaming disorder as a “condition for further study.” A 2009 study suggested 8 percent of people ages 8 to 18 “exhibited pathological patterns of play” when it came to video game use.

Gaming disorder or addictive behavior could be diagnosed for kids whose school performance is affected or for adults if their gaming addiction leads to losing spouses or jobs.

However, researchers also have pointed out the benefits of gaming, which include relieving stress and improving hand-eye coordination. Some healthcare professionals even use video games to help patients.

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A new draft of the International Classification of Diseases names "gaming disorder" an official mental health condition.
gaming, disorder, mental health, condition
Tuesday, 26 December 2017 05:33 PM
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