Gaming Disorder made a recognised illness by the World Health Organization

Diagnosis will be easier says the health organisation

Addiction to video games will soon be classified as an official mental disorder, courtesy of the World Health Organization. "But clinicians are approaching this behavior from an understanding of a disorder based on a continuum of normative, recreational and problematic use rather than from the setting or context of a unique, new culture".

Back in December of 2018, the World Health Organization was considering adding "gaming disorder" to its list of recognized illnesses, and now the organization officially has made a decision to go on ahead with the move.

However, as a newly-recognized disorder, there is a risk that simply enthusiastic gaming or excitement over a new title may be interpreted by parents and guardians as a disorder.

The changes are slated to be added in January 2022.

Burnout was also included in the previous version of WHO's disease handbook, the ICD-10, in the same category as it now appears. It is listed along with alcoholism, gambling addiction and a section devoted to harmful cannabis use dependence.

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Those who suffer from gaming disorder will exhibit behaviour of "such a nature and intensity that it results in marked distress or significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational or occupational functioning" says the WHO.

The disorder is defined as a "pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior" which manifests itself in a variety of symptoms, including "impaired control over gaming".

"Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour ('digital gaming" or "video-gaming'), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline", World Health Organization described the condition.

The new definition includes all forms of gaming, both online and offline, saying that the people who play with an increased "priority.to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences".

According to the World Health Organization experts who analyzed studies on gaming behavior, people's use of gaming is different from their use of the internet, social media, online gambling and online shopping. The move may also lead to relevant prevention and treatment measures.

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