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Video Game Addiction To Be A Recognized Mental Health Disorder in 2018, WHO Says

Angela Beltran

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Are you one of those folks who spend the whole day with their heads glued in front of the monitor playing video games? Are you addicted to online games or gaming consoles that you neglect eating, sleeping and socializing?

Well, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that “Gaming Disorder” will be a recognized mental health disorder in 2018.

Unexpected, right? But it's legit.

Source: Pixabay

The announcement came in with the health agency’s beta draft of its upcoming 11th update of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

In the draft, WHO described gaming disorder as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior (video-gaming or digital gaming)”.

The games could be either online or offline.

Source: Pixabay

The manifestations include impaired control over gaming, increasing the priority given to gaming to the extent that it affects many aspects of life and the worsening of gaming despite the presence of negative consequences.

The description of the new mental disorder entails that the behavioral pattern of video gaming is severe that it affects many areas of life including personal, family, educational, social, occupational and other vital areas of functioning.

However, before a diagnosis is made, the behavior should be seen over a period of at least one year. For severe symptoms, the diagnosis can be made even without reaching the duration of 12 months.

Playing video games isn't harmful and it can be a recreational activity.

Source: Pixabay

But it can be disastrous to one’s life if the player becomes addicted and the activity negatively impacts life.

Over the years, video games have become very popular. Many people of all ages are fond of playing video games. However, since people get into “hazardous gaming”, many institutions are working to regulate the behavior and help those who are suffering its consequences.

For instance, in January 2015, two men in Taiwan have died weeks apart for binge gaming for days, without sleep or food. Another man in Virginia also died from excessive gaming, after he played video games for straight 24 hours.

Though the ICD-11 will be released in 2018, it is expected to take years before most countries would utilize it. What do you think about WHO’s move to recognize video gaming as a mental health disorder? Share your thoughts below.

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