Video Game Addiction Will Be Officially Considered A Mental Health Disorder Starting Next Year

The World Health Organization recognizes video game addiction as a mental health condition.

Scientists from the World Health Organization have come to the conclusion that playing too many video games is most likely a mental health condition. That is why the organization will reportedly include gaming disorder in its International Classification of Diseases for the first time. The last WHO diagnostic manual of diseases was last updated in 1990 with the latest version, ICD-11, being published next year.

Vladimir Poznyak, a member of the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance abuse, recognized the importance of this issue.

“Most people who play video games don’t have a disorder, just like most people who drink alcohol don’t have a disorder either.” States Poznyak.

However, like all good things pushed to extremes, they eventually leave marks whether they are mental or physical. The WHO believes that gaming disorder is not limited to just video game addiction as it extends to gaming as a whole.

According to the current draft of the IDC-11, somebody has a gaming disorder if “gaming takes precedence over other life interests”. The draft states that diagnosis will be possible once the person has displayed severe video game addiction for at least a year.

A study conducted at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute echoes the organization’s beliefs that video game addiction is a real issue. In 2016, researchers investigated the percentage of gamers who are addicted to video games by surveying 19 thousand men and women from the UK, US, Canada, and Germany. The study, which was published in the American Journal of Psychiatry, revealed that only two to three percent of the people surveyed admitted that they experienced five or more symptoms from the American Psychiatric Association checklist of health symptoms.

The ICD-11 draft also refers to a person addicted to video games as someone who would continue to play games regardless of the ‘negative consequences’.

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