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WHO may add gaming disorder as a mental health condition

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WHO may add gaming disorder as a mental health condition
WHO may add gaming disorder as a mental health condition. wikimedia common
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London, Dec 24, 2017: Are your kids addicted to video games? Beware, soon their behaviour might be classified as a mental health condition by the World Health Organisation (WHO),the media reported. For the first time, WHO is thinking of adding gaming disorder to its International Classification of Diseases (ICD), the New Scientist reported, earlier last week.

The ICD — a diagnostic manual that’s published by the WHO — was last updated 27 years ago, in 1990. The 11th edition of the manual is due in 2018, and will include gaming disorder as a serious health condition to be monitored. In the draft of the 11th version released by WHO, gaming disorder is described as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (that is, over the internet) or offline”.

The draft currently lists a variety of behaviours that clinicians could use to determine if a person’s gaming has become a serious health condition. According to this draft, someone has gaming disorder if they have impaired control over gaming, in terms of frequency, intensity, duration, termination.

These people give increasing priority to gaming “to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests”, and that they will continue gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. Further, in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, the behaviour of addiction to games should be evident over a period of at least 12 months.

“Health professionals need to recognise that gaming disorder may have serious health consequences,” Vladimir Poznyak, a member of the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, was quoted as saying to the Independent. “Most people who play video games don’t have a disorder, just like most people who drink alcohol don’t have a disorder either. However, in certain circumstances overuse can lead to adverse effects,” Poznyak added. (IANS)

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WHO Adds ‘Gaming Disorder’ In The List Of Mental Health Condition

Gaming disorder has been added to the section on addictive disorders

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WHO Added 'Gaming Disorder' In The List Of Mental Health Condition
WHO Added 'Gaming Disorder' In The List Of Mental Health Condition, pixabay

The World Health Organization (WHO) has now included “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

The ICD, a diagnostic manual published by the WHO, was last updated in 1990 and its new edition, ICD-11, has included gaming disorder as a serious health condition that needs to be monitored.

“Gaming disorder has been added to the section on addictive disorders,” the WHO said in a statement.

This classification means health professionals and systems will be more “alerted to the existence of this condition” while boosting the possibility that “people who suffer from these conditions can get appropriate help”, Vladimir Poznyak, a member of the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, was quoted as telling the CNN.

“Millions of gamers around the world, even when it comes to the intense gaming, would never qualify as people suffering from gaming disorder,” he said, adding that the overall prevalence of this condition is “very low”.

“And let me emphasise that this is a clinical condition, and clinical diagnosis can be made only by health professionals which are properly trained to do that,” he noted.

The new ICD-11 is also able to better capture data regarding safety in healthcare, which means that unnecessary events that may harm health — such as unsafe workflows in hospitals — can be identified and reduced, the statement said.

It also includes new chapters, one on traditional medicine: although millions of people use traditional medicine worldwide, it has never been classified in this system.

children Playing game on Laptop
children Playing game on Laptop, Pixabya

Another new chapter on sexual health brings together conditions that were previously categorised in other ways (e.g. gender incongruence was listed under mental health conditions) or described differently.

ICD-11 will be presented at the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by member states, and will come into effect on January 1, 2022.

“ICD is a cornerstone of health information and ICD-11 will deliver an up-to-date view of the patterns of disease,” said Lubna Alansari, WHO’s Assistant Director-General (Health Metrics and Measurement).

The ICD is the foundation for identifying health trends and statistics worldwide, and contains around 55,000 unique codes for injuries, diseases and causes of death.

Gaming T.v
Gaming T.v, Pixabay

Also read: ASUS Expands its Gaming Laptop line-up in India

It provides a common language that allows health professionals to share health information across the globe. (IANS)