World Health Organization classifies 'Gaming Disorder' as a disease

WHO declares compulsive video gaming a mental disorder

WHO declares compulsive video gaming a mental disorder

The proposed disorder falls under the category of substance abuse or addictive behaviors, which reads: "Disorders due to substance use and addictive behaviours are mental and behavioural disorders that develop as a result of the use of predominantly psychoactive substances, including medications, or specific repetitive rewarding and reinforcing behaviours".

The incorporation of "gaming disorder" to ICD-11 has caused backlash across the gaming industry, to the extent of global gaming organizations forming a coalition and releasing a statement on the matter.

It also deems a player's continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences (i.e. lack of sleep) as a significant impairment.

It added that such behavioural pattern would normally have been evident for at least 12 months.

What are your thoughts on "gaming disorder" being included as a mental health condition?

The decision to include gaming disorder in ICD-11, the latest edition of the disease classification manual, was based on reviews of available evidence, says World Health Organization, which claims the decision reflects a consensus of experts from different disciplines and geographical regions involved in the process of technical consultations undertaken by WHO.

Gaming disorder is one of many mental health conditions that the WHO that have been changed - they have been simplified and diagnostic descriptions have been added.

It means you're unlikely to claim any disability benefits because you game a lot, because you're all a balanced lot who play games in a healthy way. It's also when that gamer also can not control their behavior. The beef between the industry and the World Health Organization over whether gaming disorder is a legitimate complaint will undoubtedly rumble on.

"ICD is a cornerstone of health information and ICD-11 will deliver an up-to-date view of the patterns of disease", said Lubna Alansari, WHO's Assistant Director-General (Health Metrics and Measurement).

Much like gambling addiction, gaming addiction has similar traits with people giving ever-more time to gaming and the pursuit of achievements and awards at the expense of other activities. The research supporting inclusion is highly contested and inconclusive.

The new ICD edition also includes chapters on traditional medicine, which never had been classified, as well as a new chapter on sexual health that brings together conditions previously categorized in other ways. But, regardless, ICD-11 won't be hitting doctor's and insurers' offices any time soon-it could take more than a decade to finally implement, if ICD-10's history serves as an example.

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