Video “gaming disorder” now an official mental health condition

Teen Game Controller - Gaming Disorder

Video “gaming disorder” now an official mental health condition

The World Health Organization (WHO) announced “gaming disorder” as a new mental health condition in it’s latest edition of the International Classification of Diseases.

Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, a member of the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, was the one to propose the inclusion of this diagnosis to the World Health Assembly. Dr. Poznyak said part of the purpose was so health professionals will be more “alerted to the existence of this condition” and can get help as needed.

Gaming disorder has been defined “as a pattern of gaming behavior characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interest and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences”.

For gaming disorder to be officially disagnosed, the “behavior pattern must be sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months”

As a parent, if you are very concerned over your child losing the ability to socially function, if your child is starting to have health problems due to gaming, and are glued to the screen day and night, perhaps getting an official diagnosis is one small way to show the the seriousness of their addiction.

Some feel this inclusion is a bit pre-mature

There are others who feel that the inclusion of this disorder is actually not beneficial. The feeling is that extensive gaming and it’s supposed effects can actually be a coping mechanism for anxiety, depression or some other issue that is more important to uncover. The fear is that diagnosing a patient with a “gaming disorder” may pre-maturely end a deeper investigation into the core causes of their behavior.

Clean Cut Media Take

Whether or not gaming is an official disorder or not, perhaps the best advice I’ve heard is to simply spend more time with one’s children, try understand or at least hear out what is going on in their lives. Be a presence in their lives. Try to fill that gaming time with other more interactive activities. Encourage hobbies, sports, and whatever else captures their interest. Start very early while they are young and establish patterns before it gets too late!

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1 Comment

  1. This is a great piece covering a problem that people might not think is severe, but it is. Like everything Gaming is both good and bad, depending upon how you use it. I totally agree with you on the point that parents should make sure to replace giving with other interesting things. And, they can also find games that are productive in some way or the other.

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