‘Gaming Disorder’ Is Officially A Mental Health Condition Now

Close-up of hand holding video game controller. Photo: Westend61 (Getty)

How many times have you turned on your favorite video game console and decided to make a weekend out of it? Or maybe you decided to fire up your favorite Xbox or Playstation game after work, only to play it a bit longer than you should have?

If so, there’s a pretty strong chance you may have a gaming addiction according to the World Health Organization.

On Monday, WHO announced “gaming disorder” as a new mental health condition included in the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases.

“I’m not creating a precedent,” stated Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, a member of WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, which proposed the new diagnosis to WHO’s decision-making body, the World Health Assembly. Rather, Poznyak said WHO has followed “the trends, the developments, which have taken place in populations and in the professional field.”

According to the report, there are three major features that make up the ‘gaming disorder’ which include precedence over other activities, impaired control of those behaviors and impairment in personal, family, social, educational or occupational functioning which also can include disrupted sleep patterns and diet.

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The features released by WHO are very similar to the classifications in their gambling and substance abuse disorders, though believe that one must perform these activities for at least 12 months in order for it to officially be deemed a disorder.

For those diagnosed, treatment options will include interventions along with prevention from playing video games as opposed to any sorts of prescription medications.