Video game addiction is now being recognised as a mental health condition

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Yesterday, the World Health Organization announced that it had finalized its 11th International Classification of Diseases, and much like the draft did in December of previous year, it includes the addition of gaming to its section of addictive disorders. It is concerning to see the "gaming disorder" proposal in this draft despite significant opposition from the medical and scientific community. The behavior has to be serious enough that it gets in the way of family, social, education or occupational parts of one's life and normally emerges over a period of a year, though it can come sooner.

On Monday, the World Health Organization announced its eleventh International Classification of Diseases, placing "Video Game Disorder" in the same category as 'Gambling Disorder'. Those who partake in gaming should be aware of time spent on gaming activity when it excludes other daily activities.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has qualified it as a mental health condition. The pattern of gaming is often persists in spite of awareness of increased risk of harm to the individual or to others. Most of the roughly 160 million American adults who play games online will not experience the addiction. "Very large numbers of people play games on- and off-line", the Department of Health & Social Care told Eurogamer. But research shows that for a small number their gaming can become harmful, or an addiction.

The new ICD-11 is also able to better capture data regarding safety in healthcare, which means that unnecessary events that may harm health - such as unsafe workflows in hospitals - can be identified and reduced, the statement said.

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It's also worth mentioning that even with this definition, diagnosis standards are quite high. An episode must generally last for at least 12 months, according to the WHO. While there are exceptions for extreme cases, the World Health Organization seems generally cautious here.

WHO will be notifying governments that they'll be expected to add gaming disorder to their public health systems.

The ICD identifies about 55,000 separate injuries, diseases, conditions and causes of death, and is widely used as a benchmark for diagnoses and health insurance.

The entire medical world isn't in support of the classification. He noted that the diagnostic criteria for gaming disorder, including preoccupation and unsuccessful attempts to control behavior, are "strikingly" similar to the symptoms of drug and alcohol addiction.

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