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Persistent Gaming To Be Recognized As A Mental Illness

Persistent Gaming To Be Recognized As A Mental Illness

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

In the latest draft of its International Classification of Diseases, the World Health Organization stated the behavior can "result in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning".

The ICD is used by health professionals globally and serves as an worldwide standard for defining health conditions and diseases.

"Like in Asia, China and Japan and Korea there are programs set up for folks that have gaming addiction so that they can take the kid out of the home, bring them into a center, try to get them more balance in their life", said Kjome.

Mental health professionals are working to help people control their video game habit.

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The behavior is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior. That is to say, a doctor can diagnose it at any point they like, should they deem the severity "significant", without the World Health Organization batting an eye.

Sharma and his colleagues have seen dozens of young people - the youngest a 11-year-old and the oldest a 20-year-old - over the past three years at the Nimhans Service for Healthy Use of Technology (SHUT) clinic, the first exclusively for patients with technology-related addictive behaviour.

"Inclusion of a disorder in ICD is a consideration which countries take into account when making decisions on provision of health care and allocation of resources for prevention, treatment and rehabilitation", he said. The move is a response to a long debate over whether video gaming can be addictive. First, the current approaches to understanding "gaming addiction" are rooted in substance abuse research and approaches do not necessarily translate to media consumption.

"In light of continuing controversies, it is argued that the now proposed categories of video game addiction disorders are premature".

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