Mental Disorder Associated With Video Gaming?

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) says it will recognise the effects of obsessive video gaming as a mental health disorder in 2018.

In the past, video game addiction has led to some pretty extreme outcomes, including one death in 2005 when a man played StarCraft for more than two days straight with barely any breaks. That includes personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other areas.

Another sign to look for is that when someone is choosing games over other interests in life and keeps playing despite negative consequences.

"Most people who play video games don't have a disorder, just like most people who drink alcohol don't have a disorder either".

The APA describes internet gaming disorder as similar to gambling addiction, in which affected individuals don't have control over their impulses to continue participating in said activity. The mental disorder associated with video gaming must be evident for 12 months, less if the symptoms are severe. Draft language published earlier this week would add an official description for "gaming disorder" to the WHO's diagnostic manual for the first time.

According to the marketing group NPD, video game console spending in the U.S.is up 27 percent from past year, up to $1.9 billion. According to CBS, Husack "says the designation is long overdue and that addiction to video games is a hidden but widespread problem".


If you know of someone with gaming disorder, experts advise contacting a licensed mental health professional.

The WHO's classification means that gaming disorder will be recognized by doctors and insurance providers. The more recent introduction of online multiplayer titles has arguably led to even more hours being spent gaming, with players building friendships and online communities across the world.

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

Right now, World Health Organization authorities said there is only a clinical description and no prevention or treatment options.

"I do see how you might get a little addiction to a video game", Prince said.

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