WHO to classify ‘gaming disorder’ as mental health condition

With more and more youngsters getting hooked on video games, both online and offline, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is set to classify gaming disorder as a mental health condition next year.

In the beta draft of its forthcoming 11th International Classification of Diseases, WHO has included gaming disorder in its list of mental health conditions. Mental health experts and psychiatrists said this is the need of the hour as nearly 7% of the population studied for gaming and internet addiction exhibited symptoms of depression and anxiety, and somatisation, including behavioural changes and sleep disturbances.

What is gaming disorder?

The WHO defines the disorder as a “persistent or recurrent” behaviour pattern of “sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.” The disorder is characterized by “impaired control” with increasing priority given to gaming and “escalation,” despite “negative consequences.”

About International Classification of Diseases:

What is it? ICD is the “basis for identification of health trends and statistics globally and the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions. It is used by medical practitioners around the world to diagnose conditions and by researchers to categorize conditions.” The WHO’s ICD lists both mental and physical disorders.

What is it for? This comprehensive list is intended to make it easier for scientists to share and compare health information between hospitals, regions and countries. It also enables healthcare workers to compare data in the same location over different time periods. Additionally, public health experts use the ICD to track the number of deaths and diseases.

 

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