Gaming disorder could soon be a mental health condition, according to WHO

Those who frequently play video games for a long period of time may soon be diagnosed with a mental health condition, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

For the first time, the WHO is set to include a “gaming disorder” on its list of mental health conditions for its 11th International Classification of Disease (ICD) guidelines, which will be published in 2018.

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The wording of the gaming disorder hasn’t been revealed yet. However, the draft outlines the criteria needed to determine whether someone can be classed as having a gaming disorder.

What are the characteristics?

According to the WHO, gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent gaming behaviour, which may be online or offline and evident over a period of at least 12 months. This includes:

  • Impaired control over gaming (such as frequency, intensity and duration).
  • Increasing priority to gaming to the extent it takes over other life interests and daily activities.
  • Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

The behaviour pattern of obsessive gaming could lead to an impairment in your personal life, job or education, according to the WHO.

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