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Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Medical | By Garry George

‘Gaming Disorder’ declared a disease by World Health Organization

‘Gaming Disorder’ declared a disease by World Health Organization

The World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases (ICD) publication, now in version ICD-11 and first known as the International List of Causes of Death when it was adopted back in 1893, is created to make cross-border statistical reporting and treatment easier by ensuring that everyone is using the same terms with the same definitions.

The disorder can consist of an impaired control over the frequency, intensity and duration of gaming, increasing priority given to gaming to the point that it takes precedence over other daily activities and commitments, and a continuation or escalation of gaming despite it's negative consequences on other parts of life.

WHO's Saxena, however, estimated that 2 to 3 percent of gamers might be affected.

You can expect to hear a lot about the addictive nature of video games over the next few days, because the World Health Organisation has just published the latest draft of its updated International Classification of Diseases manual, and a, "gaming disorder", is listed as a genuine medical condition.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, gender dysphoria is "a conflict between a person's physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify". ICD-11 will be presented to the World Health Assembly to be voted upon in May 2019, and will go into effect in January 2022. Do you believe that gaming, like other substance-free addictions such as gambling, can really take over your life?

The wording of the new entries has been known since January, when the World Health Organization announced problem gaming would be recognised as a pathological condition.

Video game addiction will soon become a diagnosable metal health condition, at least in the eyes of leading worldwide health officials.

WHO officials also touted more detail on cancer, specifically different types of skin cancer, as well as on heart health and weight disorders; there is also a new chapter on immune system disorders, which will enable better study of allergies.

Anthony Bean, a licensed psychologist and executive director at the non-profit health clinic The Telos Project, told CNN that labeling gaming disorder as a diagnosable condition was "premature".

'The gaming prompts a neurological response that influences feelings of pleasure and reward, and the result, in the extreme, is manifested as addictive behavior'.

Doctors now recognise persistent and compulsive gaming behaviour as a mental health disorder. The statement is highly critical, citing contested and inconclusive data and concerns of misdiagnosis. Gaming disorder was considered for inclusion based on scientific evidence and the recommendations of experts around the world.

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