April 22, 2018

Too much gaming could be labeled as mental health condition

29 December 2017, 12:57 | Franklin Nunez

Too much gaming could be labeled as mental health condition

Gaming disorder to be named a mental health condition for the first time

The World Health Organization is researching how much addiction has to do with video gaming.

However there's something about being able to play a character in a video game, such as Goldeneye, The Legend of Zelda or Super Mario Bros.

USA Today reports that the WHO's draft criteria for gaming disorder are "recurrent" game-playing sessions resulting in "impaired control over gaming", "increasing priority given to gaming", and "escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences".

While gaming addiction is not included in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, internet gaming disorder does appear as a problem to continue monitoring for possible future inclusion. "The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous or episodic and recurrent", the description of the disorder continued. The mental disorder associated with video gaming must be evident for 12 months, less if the symptoms are severe. A draft of the 2018 edition of their diagnostic manual features gaming disorder listed alongside gambling disorder as conditions "due to addictive behaviours".

The world at large seems to be paying attention to video games this year.

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This means that both doctors and insurance companies will now recognize the disorder.

The WHO also points out that anyone with gaming disorder can't stop themselves from playing. IGD, however, isn't officially recognized as a formal disorder by professionals yet, since it was put into the DSM-5 as a condition needing "further study".

Martin Lucero has a simple solution, saying parents should enforce some form of limitations to video game time for their kids. "How gaming involves them is more similar to other fun activities like eating chocolate, having sex, getting a good grade, etc., not heroin or cocaine".

Although it's rare, gamers have died during marathon gaming sessions, according to the Washington Post.

Gregory Hartl, a spokesman for the World Health Organization, told CNN the new entry on gaming disorder "includes only a clinical description and not prevention and treatment options".

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