Video Game Addiction is Real Disease

Video game addiction declared a mental health problem, treatment to be available on NHS

The goal of including gaming disorder in the ICD is, in part, to bring more attention to the issue and raise the visibility of treatments for those seeking help for excessive video game playing, World Health Organization said.

The WHO said that if gaming takes precedence over daily activities and life interests, then it can be classed as gaming disorder.

The behavior is usually evident over a period of at least 12 months for the diagnosis to be assigned, although it may be a shorter period if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe. People don't necessarily have to quit gaming altogether, but they do need to learn to better manage it with parameters, like only gaming with friends during select times during the day vs. doing it at night alone in their room. If your child gets sucked into a game for a few days, but goes back to normal after that, they wouldn't qualify: Instead, people must engage in this behavior for at least 12 months, World Health Organization says.

"The studies suggest that when these individuals are engrossed in Internet games, certain pathways in their brains are triggered in the same direct and intense way that a drug addict's brain is affected by a particular substance", the association said in that statement.

And yet, that hasn't spotted the larger game industry from coming forward to criticize the diagnosis.

Back in 2013 Journalists across the world were reporting that too many people had become addicted to Grand Theft Auto V. That died down as does everything the media reports but it recently became a hot topic after Fortnite became a global hit. The evidence for its inclusion remains highly contested and inconclusive. We are therefore concerned to see "gaming disorder" still contained in the latest version of the WHO's ICD-11 despite significant opposition from the medical and scientific community.

They work to address mental health issues - depression, anxiety, and attention deficit disorder (ADD), while coming to grips with factors that might lead to increased virtual connection and developing an individualized plan for how to engage with digital media in a healthy way.

One thing is clear: The ICD-11 update is arriving one way or another.

"Video gaming is like a non-financial kind of gambling from a psychological point of view", said Griffiths, a distinguished professor of behavioural addiction at Nottingham Trent University.

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