Video game addiction is now being recognised as a mental health condition

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

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

The move means that people will now be able to receive treatment for their addictions to video games and that the NHS in the United Kingdom will be able to provide treatment to children addicted to games free of charge.

"The studies suggest that when these individuals are engrossed in Internet games, certain pathways in their brains are triggered in the same direct and intense way that a drug addict's brain is affected by a particular substance", the association said in that statement.

"The first step is to seek help from a professional, a primary care physician or a counselor, and have a conversation about the problem", Dr. Petros Levounis, professor and chair of the department of psychiatry at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School told Newsweek. "Also, the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry and the American Society of Addiction Medicine offer excellent resources for referrals to addiction specialists". Experts worldwide are urging caution regarding the World Health Organization's proposed "gaming disorder" as it may lead to misdiagnosis of real mental health conditions.

WHO will be notifying governments that they'll be expected to add gaming disorder to their public health systems. "The gaming prompts a neurological response that influences feelings of pleasure and reward, and the result, in the extreme, is manifested as addictive behavior".

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.

We hope that the World Health Organization will reconsider the mounting evidence put before them before proposing inclusion of "gaming disorder" in the final version of ICD-11 to be endorsed next year. "Gamblers use money as a way of keeping score whereas gamers use points". The gaming behavior and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.

The WHO stressed that only a small number of people who use digital or video games develop gaming disorder.

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