Video game addiction is now officially recognised as an illness

Video game addiction is now officially recognised as an illness

Video game addiction is now officially recognised as an illness

Due to be published today, the WHO's International Classification of Diseases (ICD) will now include "Gaming Disorder".

"After consulting with experts across the world, and reviewing evidence in an exhaustive manner, we decided that this condition should be added", Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO's department of mental health and substance abuse, told AFP.

The ICD identifies some 55,000 separate injuries, diseases, conditions and causes of death, and is widely used as a benchmark for diagnoses and health insurance.

Benjamin Wong, a counselor at Mindful Digitality based in Vancouver, British Columbia, joins KRON4 News to discuss.

To suffer from the disease you must "experience significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of function" and you must have lived with this for at least one year'.

According to the American Psychiatric Association, gender dysphoria is "a conflict between a person's physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify".

Continuation or escalation of gaming despite negative consequences.


The ICD has 55,000 unique codes for injuries, diseases and causes of death mentioned in it which serves the objective of identifying health trends and measuring the statistics worldwide. A version called internet gaming disorder first appeared in the DSM-5.

Maybe more consumers will push back against video game makers who design their products to be addictive with the same sort of uproar we've seen about tobacco and opioids.

Doctors now recognise persistent and compulsive gaming behaviour as a mental health disorder. The number of people this might affect would be a very small percentage of people who play games. The evidence for its inclusion remains highly contested and inconclusive.

A new chapter also has been added on traditional medicine.

According to the World Health Organization, the gaming behaviour and related features have to be observed in an individual over a period of 12 months for an official diagnosis to be considered. The U.S. video game industry - through its Entertainment Software Association lobbying group - threw its support behind several academics who opposed the WHO's efforts when it confirmed past year that they would include "gaming disorder" as a condition.

On Tuesday, the World Health Organization added "gaming disorder" to its list of recognised and diagnosable diseases, as part of its 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases.

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