Gaming Addiction Is Now An Official Mental Health Disorder

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The highly influential IDC is a gold standard for diagnostic classification, because it helps doctors around the world track trends of diseases and mental disorders.

They continue on to assure the masses that playing video games for hours on end doesn't necessarily mean you have the disorder, the situation must be much more serious than binge gaming.

The WHO said that if gaming takes precedence over daily activities and life interests, then it can be classed as gaming disorder.

However, she warns that video gaming addiction affects just a small percentage of the world's population - but adds that "it must be recognised" early, as it can "last a year before diagnosis". An estimated 1% to 5% of young people in Western countries have some form of it, according to a 2017 review in the Journal of Behavior Addictions, but studies vary in how they define gaming disorder in the first place.

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The games industry raked in US$108 billion (RM432 billion) worldwide a year ago, more than double movie box-office receipts, said Superdata, which tracks the games and interactive media sector.

Two players sleeping on their keyboards during the 29th edition of the PolyLAN video game tournament at the Swiss Tech Convention Centre in Lausanne in April.

In its latest revision to a disease classification manual called the International Classification of Diseases, or I.C.D., the United Nations health agency explains the change and why it has (finally) removed the transgender mental disorder classification. Are you concerned they have compulsive habits?

Dr. Miller cautions parents who are now anxious their children are gaming addicts to look for key signs of addiction.

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To be diagnosed with gaming disorder, a person's behavior must significantly impact other important aspects of their life, such as their relationships or their ability to hold down a job.

The ICD-11 isn't yet finished, though: The publication won't be endorsed as a final release until 2019, and won't be fully adopted until 2022.

This is the first revision of the codes to be completely electronic, which World Health Organization officials said was a better way to group conditions, and would enable patient safety to be recorded more easily. Gambling disorder was in ICD-10, but gaming disorder relates to "digital or video gaming".

Separately, the WHO listed "hazardous gaming", which is when a pattern of gaming "appreciably increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences to this individual or others around this individual".

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It also includes new chapters, one on traditional medicine: although millions of people use traditional medicine worldwide, it has never been classified in this system.