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20 June 2018, 08:57 | Melissa Porter
Gaming Addiction Is Now An Official Mental Health Disorder
In the newly issued WHO'sInternational Classification of Diseases catalogue, which classifies more than 55,000 diseases, injuries and causes of death, "gender incongruence" is now listed under "conditions related to sexual health", instead of "mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental disorders".
Video game addiction is a term that has been used for years by parents and mental health professionals who believe that it's a real disorder. The WHO characterizes gaming disorder as when a person prioritizes gaming over daily activities and life interests, loses control of its meaning as a recreational outlet and continues to indulge in it despite the occurrence of negative consequences.
Screen time isn't recommended at all for kids who are 18 months or younger, but for children who are older than that up to five, it's generally recommended that they have not more than one hour of screen time, she says. Much like any other kind of addiction, they find it impossible to resist the urge to play games or to stop after they have been playing for more than what many would consider being a healthy period of time. The inclusion of a disorder in ICD is a consideration which countries take into account when planning public health strategies and monitoring trends of disorders.
"Nonetheless, gaming disorder can be very harmful and not something people can easily get over on their own, but with the right treatment they can".
"We are teaching the Xs and Os of how to play the game, but also balance", said Josh Hafkin, founder of The Game Gym in Potomac, Maryland. "ICD has to keep pace with evolving disorders and diseases, and this is one of them", in a video put out by the World Health Organization discussing this addition.
These are extreme examples, but experts around the world are increasingly looking to define the gaming problem. "The gaming prompts a neurological response that influences feelings of pleasure and reward, and the result, in the extreme, is manifested as addictive behavior".
The classification comes one week after a study released by California State University showed how video games can have a similar effect on children's brains as drug abuse or alcoholism.
There's no question that games can offer therapeutic benefits, but equally, few would dispute that they can also lead to an unhealthy level of addiction.
In the previous World Health Organization classification, gender identity disorders, such as transsexualism were listed under mental and behavioral conditions.
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