'Gaming Disorder' Now Officialy Recognized as a Mental illness

Image for representation

Image for representation

It forms a basis for the World Health Organisation and other experts to see and respond to trends in health.

A major venture for the World Health Organization is creating and maintaining the International Classification of Diseases, which is a grading system that assists in identifying a wide range of signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, and much more. The increased risk may be from the frequency of gaming, from the amount of time spent on these activities, from the neglect of other activities and priorities, from risky behaviours associated with gaming or its context, from the adverse consequences of gaming, or from the combination of these.

Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

To get a proper diagnosis, the ICD description states that the behavior and features should be evident over a period of one year, however, can be shortened if 'all the requirements are met, or if symptoms are severe'.

Poznyak said the condition leads to "significant distress and impairment in personal, family, social, educational or occupational functioning". Currently, gambling disorder is the only officially recognized behavioral addiction in the USA, unlike in China and South Korea, which have rolled out treatment programs for gaming disorder.

WHO has said gaming disorder is a serious health condition that requires monitoring
WHO has said gaming disorder is a serious health condition that requires monitoring

As part of that process a draft for a "gaming disorder" has been written up to be included in the new International Classification of Diseases (ICD) manual - which hasn't had a new version since 1992 - but video game makers are not happy about the process.

To be clear, the medical community isn't exactly rushing in to take everyone's video games away. In fact, she urinated on herself while sitting down playing the game. "For the vast majority it is a recreational activity".

It's also worth mentioning that even with this definition, diagnosis standards are quite high. Housing almost 55,000 medical issues, the ICD-11 is used for clinical care, research, and is rarely given major revisions, so it is a legitimately big deal that gaming addiction has been added to its pages.

The highly-influential IDC is a gold standard for diagnostic classification, as it helps doctors around the world track trends of diseases and mental disorders.

Online and offline "gaming disorder" is grouped with "disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviours" in the ICD's 11th edition, the first major revision in almost three decades. The question is whether the games industry can provide enough current research to counter the gaming disorder definition before the manual is approved sometime next year.

Latest News