‘Gaming Disorder’ Now Officially Recognized as a Mental illness

‘Gaming Disorder’ has now officially been categorized as a mental illness, according to the World Health Organization.

First proposed in December of 2017, the World Health Organization included ‘Gaming Disorder’ in their 11th ‘Classification of Diseases’ listing, which caused a stir throughout the gaming community.

A major venture for the WHO is creating and maintaining the International Classification of Diseases, which is a grading system that assists in identifying a wide range of signs, symptoms, abnormal findings, and much more.

The disorder is defined as “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the Internet) or offline,” and was officially added to the Classification of Diseases on Monday, June 18th.

Three main points are provided by the WHO to help professionals diagnose the disorder in perspective patients:

  1. Impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context.
  2. Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities.
  3. Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

To get a proper diagnosis, the ICD description states that the behavior and features should be evident over a period of one year, however, can be shortened if ‘all the requirements are met, or if symptoms are severe.’

“The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour 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 full description of the newly-added ‘Gaming Disorder’ can be found on the official World Health Organization Classification of Diseases, 11th edition.

Source: World Health Organization