WHO to Classify Excessive Gaming as Mental Health Disorder

Posted by Edward Ernest | Dec 28, 2017 | Addiction, News, Real News | 0 |

If you play video games excessively compared to the norm, according to the World Health Organization, you may be able to be diagnosed with a mental health disorder.

In the beta draft of its forthcoming 11th International Classification of Diseases, the World Health Organization includes “gaming disorder” in its list of mental health conditions. The WHO defines the disorder as a “persistent or recurrent” behavior 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.”

Video game playing, either online or offline, must be “normally evident over a period of at least 12 months” for this diagnosis to be made, according to the beta draft guidance. However, if symptoms are severe and all requirements are met, health care professionals may include people who have been playing for shorter periods of time, the draft reads.

 You’re going to find different opinions for and against video gaming to be classified as a disorder, but in my opinion, I’d classify it as an addiction, even though I most likely wouldn’t classify it at all.

If I were forced to classify it, I would treat it like drug, sex, gambling addiction. The person playing excessively is filling a void in their life and exhibiting behaviours like other addictions. Those behaviors could be like the ones stated above as in the impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. You can also add the lack of exercise as the physical harm you are causing yourself.

However, if I was playing devil’s advocate, it’s hard to say this is a disorder because if you do play excessively and become very good at video games, it’s possible you can become a pro player and make a real income and living. It can be considered e-sports and just like in baseball, basketball, football, etc., the excessiveness can be considered practice.

This issue isn’t black and white, and there needs to be more research done before classification as there are more sides to this issue than meets the eye.

In my opinion, if I thought I could make a living doing something I loved, I’d practice as much as possible. But that’s just me. What do you think?


If you or a loved one you know battles with any Mental Health Issues, please do get the help you need. If you need to talk to someone now, you can talk to one of the many fantastic therapists at Better Help by CLICKING HERE.


This post was created with the help of Grammarly.

Photo Credit: Mike Mozart

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