Compulsive video-game playing now new mental health problem

Most of the medical profession is against the Gaming Disorder inclusion; two papers opposing the proposal having already been released. This isn't to dismiss the value of gaming disorder entirely, but to highlight the growing concern at moving forward without concrete evidence to support the connection between video games and true real life problems.

The third feature is when the behavior impacts in other areas of someone's life, which can include "disturbed sleep patterns, like diet problems, like a deficiency in the physical activity". The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. "The rationale being that while evidence is now clear that it is not a mental disorder, and indeed classifying it in this can cause enormous stigma for people who are transgender, there remain significant health care needs that can best be met if the condition is coded under the ICD".

The WHO stressed that only a small number of people who use digital or video games develop gaming disorder.

Many parents will have thought it for a long time, but they now have a new argument to limit their children's "screen time" - addiction to video games has been recognised by World Health Organisation as a mental health disorder. In a 2013 statement, the association said it's "a condition warranting more clinical research and experience before it might be considered for inclusion" in its own diagnostic manual.

"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.

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Instead, it's classed as a "condition for further study" in the DSM-V, the most recent version. It's their mode of escapism, they don't want to read a book, they don't want to watch TV, they don't want to go the movies - they want to play video games.

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

The ICD forms a basis for the WHO and other experts to see and respond to trends in health, and is also used by health insurers whose reimbursements depend on the classifications.

Yesterday, an updated version of the draft has been released to member states of the World Health Organization so that they might prepare to implement the changes. The latest edition also has a new chapter on traditional medicine.

In the previous World Health Organization classification, gender identity disorders, such as transsexualism were listed under mental and behavioral conditions.

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