Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Computer Gaming Addiction Is Now An Official Mental Health Disorder

Compulsive video-game playing now new mental health problem Rob Stothard Getty Images 2. Video games: 38 percent off
Ben Pena | 19 June, 2018, 02:17

As its public listing reads, it is characterized by a pattern of "persistent or recurrent gaming behavior" including impaired control over frequency and duration, increasing priority to give gaming precedence over other "life interests and daily activities", and continuing to game despite negative consequences. The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous or episodic and recurrent.

The move means that people will now be able to receive treatment for their addictions to video games and that the NHS in the United Kingdom will be able to provide treatment to children addicted to games free of charge. An episode must generally last for at least 12 months, according to the WHO.

There's another related condition that's new to ICD-11: Hazardous gaming.

Honestly, "gaming disorder" sounds like a phrase tossed around by irritated parents and significant others.

The UN health agency said that classifying "Gaming Disorder" as a separate condition will "serve a public health goal for countries to be better prepared to identify this issue".

The inclusion of "gaming disorder" in WHO's revised catalogue of diseases met with resistence, both from industry and some experts.

To be clear, the medical community isn't exactly rushing in to take everyone's video games away. Gaming disorder can lead to disturbed sleep patterns, diet problems and deficiency in physical activities. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and learning ways to live with computers responsibly. The World Health Organization says they now should be on guard for a danger in the real world: spending too much time playing.

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In a study to be published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions, a group of 36 researchers said there was insufficent evidence to warrant the new category.

"Disorders due to addictive behaviours are recognizable and clinically significant syndromes associated with distress or interference with personal functions that develop as a result of repetitive rewarding behaviours other than the use of dependence-producing substances", writes the WHO. Anthony Bean, a licensed psychologist and executive director at The Telos Project, argues that gaming "more as a coping mechanism for either anxiety or depression".

World Health Organization accepted the proposal that Gaming Disorder should be listed as a new issue based on scientific evidence. There wasn't, for instance, enough data to prove the existence of potential tech-based conditions such as smartphone addiction or internet addiction, he said.

The American Psychiatric Association has not yet deemed gaming disorder to be a new mental health problem.

Still, there is a lot we don't yet understand about gaming disorder.

He concluded: "We have not crossed all our "ts" and dotted all our "is" with regard to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of gaming addictions".

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