Excessive Gaming About to Be an Official Disorder

World Health Organization to declare it as such
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 25, 2017 10:07 AM CST
Excessive Gaming About to Be an Official Disorder

Habitual gamers, the World Health Organization is worried about you. In its upcoming International Classification of Diseases, the WHO is adding something called "gaming disorder," reports New Scientist. A draft makes clear that the label would apply only to those whose habit consumes their lives to an extreme degree—say someone who misses work, gets fired, and continues playing. Under the definition, the "gaming disorder" fits those who can't control the habit despite such negative consequences, and this "pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning." The playing may be constant or "episodic," and the disorder would typically be diagnosed if the pattern continues for at least year.

A post at Forbes adds some context: "Before you get too Madden about this, keep in mind that this is not saying that playing video games is a mental disorder," writes Bruce Y. Lee. He adds that video gaming can be beneficial, provided it's not done to excess. Lee suggests that those wondering about their own habits might want to take a series of questions designed to detect addictions to drugs or alcohol ("Are video games usually the first thing you think about in the morning when you wake up?" etc.) And as Newsweek notes, the disorder has not been recognized as such by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a better-known guide used by mental health professionals in the US. (Read more gaming stories.)

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