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World Health Organization moves closer to recognizing 'gaming disorder'
29 December 2017, 01:01 | Audrey Hill
"Gaming Disorder is on WHO's 2018 International Classification of Diseases as a mental health problem
The World Health Organization will add "gaming disorder" to the 11th update of the International Classification of Diseases next year, USA Today reports. 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.
The disorder is characterised by impaired control with increasing priority given to gaming despite negative consequences. It also lists conditions medical personnel can use to decide if a gamer's behaviour can be described as a mental health disorder.
"Disorders due to addictive behaviors are recognizable and clinically significant syndromes associated with distress or interference with personal functions that develop as a result of repetitive rewarding behaviors other than the use of dependence-producing substances", the gaming-relevant section states.
According to the World Health Organization draft, the classification applies if the symptoms listed manifest over a period of at least 12 months in order for a proper diagnosis assignment.
Standard treatment for technology-associated addictive behaviour, he said, involves quantifying gaming patterns, assessing dysfunctions and motivating patients to initially change lifestyles to reduce gaming durations. Should gaming addiction be treated as a mental health condition?
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