If you have kids, boys especially and maybe some husbands, you know the video game battle. Limiting time, taking it away as a punishment, the cost of games, the seemingly hypnotic state that people who were normal just seconds earlier suddenly fall into. Yes, video gaming can be addictive, but is it a mental disorder? The World Health Organization (WHO) says yes.
Did you know that in September 2018, the WHO officially recognized “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition — adding the disorder to the International Classification of Diseases, or the ICD-11, the organization’s official diagnostic manual.
So when does a really annoying habit become an addiction and subsequently a mental disorder determined by WHO? Well, the organization states that a gaming disorder is a –
pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences – and this must continue for a year or more.
But not everyone agrees with WHO’s classification. Both The American Psychiatric Association and the video game industry believe that there is not enough evidence to call this a “gaming disorder,” to justify inclusion. See reports here:
However, some people believe WHO got it right. Live Science cites – On Twitter, Dr. John Jiao, an emergency medicine doctor, said the diagnosis was “sorely needed.”
“Otherwise people with real, legitimate video game addictions can often have trouble with insurance paying for their therapy, especially if they don’t fit any other diagnosis,” Jiao tweeted.
- Dr. Shekhar Saxena, a mental health expert for WHO, noted that only a small minority of people who play video games will develop addiction problems, according to Reuters.
What do you think?