World Health Organization Officially Lists Gaming Addiction as Disorder

Having a Gaming addiction has been listed in the World Health Organisations global classification of Diseases for the first time ever meaning governments around the world are expected to add it into their countries health system.

Online and offline "gaming disorder" is grouped with "disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviours" in the ICD's 11th edition, the first major revision in almost three decades.

Among these new classifications is official recognition for "gaming addiction" which covers an unhealthy obsession with playing video games. Those with the condition will keep gaming despite suffering negative consequences.

In recent times, a number of games are free to download, which undoubtedly contributes to the gaming culture.

Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO's department for mental health and substance abuse, told the news outlet that it based its conclusion on scientific evidence and that it indicates "the need and the demand for treatment in many parts of the world".

The ICD identifies about 55,000 separate injuries, diseases, conditions and causes of death, and is widely used as a benchmark for diagnoses and health insurance. "Disorders due to addictive behaviors include gambling disorder and gaming disorder, which may involve both online and offline behaviour".

Those behaviours, according to the World Health Organization, can significantly impair people's personal, family, social, educational, occupational and other important areas of functioning.

The neglect of other activities and priorities. The analysis of close to 19,000 internet users from the U.S., Canada, the United Kingdom and Germany found that among those who played games, just under 1 in 3 reported at least one symptom of internet gaming disorder.

"The pattern of gaming is often persists in spite of awareness of increased risk of harm to the individual or to others".

Games like Fortnite are more popular than ever, but they may also have renewed fears that games are damaging young minds.

A major venture for the World Health Organization is creating and maintaining the International Classification of Diseases, which is a grading system that assists in identifying a wide range of signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, and much more.

It 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.

An addiction "should be clearly and unambiguously established before formalizing new disorders in disease classification system".

  • Delores Daniels