'Gaming disorder' diagnosed as mental health condition

Share

Many parents will have thought it for a long time, but they now have a new argument to limit their children's "screen time" after addiction to video games was recognised as a mental health disorder. "The inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 follows the development of treatment programmes for people with health conditions identical to those characteristic of gaming disorder in many parts of the world, and will result in the increased attention of health professionals to the risks of development of this disorder and, accordingly, to relevant prevention and treatment measures". This means that those diagnosed will be entitled to be treated by the NHS.

However, Vladimir Poznyak of the WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse told New Scientist past year, when the agency first revealed its decision to include gaming disorder in its diagnostic manual, that the move was supported by sufficient evidence.

According to World Health Organization, there are three major criteria for the diagnosis of gaming disorder: Gaming takes precedence over other activities so much that a person often stops doing other things, a person continues gaming even when it causes issues in their life or they feel that they can't stop, and gaming causes significant distress and impairments in a person's relationships with others, as well as their work or school life.

World Health Organization said this situation is severe enough to result in "significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning".

The news, however, has been met with some criticism. She added that a minority of gamers would be affected.

Saxena said parents and friends of video game enthusiasts should still be mindful of a potentially harmful problem.

In addition, ICD is also used by health insurers whose reimbursements depend on ICD coding as well as national health program managers, data collection specialists and others tracking progress in global health and determine the allocation of health resources.

Studies show that brain activity for certain people who excessively play video games is similar to the way drug addicts are triggered.

Symptomatic behaviour must continue for at least a year before it is considered dangerously unhealthy, according to the new classification.

"Video gaming is like a non-financial kind of gambling from a psychological point of view", said Griffiths, a distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. For example, say that your child has to do their homework first and/or get out and play for an hour before they're allowed to game.

Share