Gaming addiction is a mental disorder

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The World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases (ICD) publication, now in version ICD-11 and first known as the International List of Causes of Death when it was adopted back in 1893, is created to make cross-border statistical reporting and treatment easier by ensuring that everyone is using the same terms with the same definitions. The hallmark of the disorder is that playing games overtakes other desires, and that it continues or escalates despite negative consequences.

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

However, the formal decision to recognise the overuse of games as a mental health condition has been depicted as an overreaction.

Removing the mental health label from trans identity is a powerful and important signifier of acceptance, advocates and mental health professionals say.

"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.

For video game addicts, it might soon be 'game over'.

Those of us who game, however, have probably indulged ourselves on a binge of The Sims (or whatever your guilty pleasure is).

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Gaming also piques gamers' interest in new hobbies and careers such as history (15 percent), information technology (12 percent) and art (7 percent), while 34 percent cite improved cognition, problem-solving or social skills thanks to gaming.

He guessed that the percentage of video game players with a compulsive problem was likely to be extremely small - much less than 1 percent - and that many such people would likely have other underlying problems, like depression, bipolar disorder or autism.

In 2013, the American Psychiatric Association decided not to classify gaming addiction as a distinct disorder, and said it required further research alongside conditions such as caffeine use disorder.

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

Treatment for gaming disorder is generally based in cognitive behavioral therapy, which would generally be done in two phases, Simon Rego, PsyD, chief psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center/Albert Einstein College of Medicine, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.

The updated ICD is scheduled to be presented to WHO member states at their annual World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption in January 2022, the WHO said in a statement. The evidence for its inclusion remains highly contested and inconclusive.

"Much confusion remains - even among authors supporting the diagnosis - regarding what, exactly, gaming disorder is".

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