Monday, 23 July, 2018

Gaming disorder could soon be treated in public health sector

Gaming Addiction Is Now An Official Mental Health Disorder Gaming Addiction Is Now An Official Mental Health Disorder
Becky Salazar | 20 June, 2018, 02:00

Video gaming has exploded in popularity, and now there is "gaming disorder".

The new ICD edition also includes chapters on traditional medicine, which never had been classified, as well as a new chapter on sexual health that brings together conditions previously categorized in other ways.

The new International Classification of Diseases (ICD), ICD-11, was revealed by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday, with changes to gender incongruence, the addition of gaming disorders, and better tracking of antimicrobial resistance.

That doesn't surprise Daniel Kaufmann, a professor at Grand Canyon University who has done research on video game addiction and has offered treatment for it. The American Psychiatric Association identified "Internet Gaming Disorder" as an area for further study in the 2013 version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the central resource for identifying and diagnosing disorders in the United States.

It also deems a player's continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences (i.e. lack of sleep) as a significant impairment.

For instance, some people working on stroke have always been pushing for it to be moved from circulatory diseases, where it has been for 6 decades, into neurological disease, where it now sits in ICD-11.

Others welcomed WHO's new classification, saying it was critical to identify video game addicts quickly because they are usually teenagers or young adults who don't seek help themselves. For example, say that your child has to do their homework first and/or get out and play for an hour before they're allowed to game. There is no doubt that there are people who are likely to end up addicted to playing games, although this is more likely a symptom of some other issue.

To be clear, the medical community isn't exactly rushing in to take everyone's video games away.

Doctors now recognise persistent and compulsive gaming behaviour as a mental health disorder.

WHO has said gaming disorder is a serious health condition that requires monitoring.

In order for a successful diagnosis to be made, the pattern of behaviour must last for at least 12 months. As you can see here, gaming addiction is still there in the ICD-11.

In its new draft on the International Classification of Diseases manual released yesterday, the World Health Organization has now classified excessive compulsive gaming as a disorder.

In the US, there are some private treatment facilities that deal with gaming addiction, and interest in the issue is growing amid a broader discussion about more general problematic technology use.

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