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WHO Includes Video Gaming Disorder In Mental Health Care


In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) is about to recognize obsessive video gaming as part of mental health disorder. According to its 11th International Classification of Diseases,  the said organization included gaming disorder in one of its beta drafts.

How does the WHO defined gaming disorder as one of the mental health conditions?

The WHO defines the gaming disorder as a recurrent or persistent behavioral pattern of the said victim or patients wherein their addiction to gaming had severed their ability to socialize with their family, friends, and even affecting their work or educational studies. The said disorder urges the patient to increase its productivity in gaming while impairing the patient’s real-life socialization. The patients are also identified when they got hooked or addicted to gaming for over the span of 12 months. If these symptoms still persist, the healthcare professionals may start intervening in the patient’s routine and cut down their gaming hours in order for them to recuperate and fix their addiction. WHO Spokesperson Gregory Hartl also includes clinical prescriptions to address the gaming disorders in the ICD Beta draft.

Guide for the International Classification of Diseases (ICD)

For those who didn’t know, the ICP is a guided draft crafted by WHO in order to identify and classify the underlying health connections and trends that confirm the international standards. This draft would serve as a guideline for medical professionals around the world as they diagnose mental and health conditions and conduct investigative research about it. This comprehensive guide and list will also become the basis for scientist and medical professionals to compare information between states, regions, and countries. The public health experts can also use the list in order to retrieve data about the number of deaths associated with diseases.

WHO to Include Video Gaming in Mental Health Condition

WHO to Include Video Gaming in Mental Health Condition

The current version of ICD was crafted in 1990 by the World Health Assembly. It is currently being applied to over 100 countries around the world. Since a few years and decades have passed since then, and new diseases such as dengue had emerged, the WHO is revising a beta draft in order to publish an updated version of ICD this May 2018. Florida Professor of Psychology Chris Ferguson was one of the proponents to include video gaming disorders as one of the categories of mental health condition. Since he’d studied the effects of video gaming on mental health, he reiterated that the patient’s family could also access their healthcare and insurance policies for the patient’s treatment.

The WHO’s Decision Splurge Debate Among Health Professionals

Dr. Chris Ferguson Agrees to the Inclusion of Video Gaming to Mental Health Disorders

Dr. Chris Ferguson Agrees to the Inclusion of Video Gaming to Mental Health Disorders

The study about the effects of video gaming on a person’s life has always been the subject of debate. Some said that internet gaming disorder is different from the concept drafted by the WHO. And that the usage of the similar term may create confusion to the masses. In fact, the Psychiatric Association already made a similar attempt to classify video gaming as mental health condition before but it received heavy criticism in response. Health professionals reiterated that the “correct definition” of internet gaming disorder refers to substance abuse rather than the game itself. The WHO, on the other hand, dismissed this idea and went on to the concept of how the gaming interferes with your real-life activities such as doing homework, households, etc. Some people may agree to the definition of WHO, while some are against it.

Among those professors who agree is Douglas A. Gentile, a fellow psychology professor at Iowa University.

He reiterated that the inclusion of gaming disorder will also help pave the way on researching the best way to define and identify such disorder. This would also lead to research studies searching for the best ways or method to treat and manage the video gaming addiction.

Video Gaming Can Damage our Functionality in Life

Video Gaming Can Damage our Functionality in Life

He also believes that gaming disorder is indeed true since his years of studying and expertise stated that all disorders start with dysfunctional, whether in our social or professional entity. A hobby or a habit is considered a disorder when it starts to distort your life or damage to the point of tipping the balance. For example, drinking alcohol may be tolerant of other people, but for people with lower tolerance, it can be detrimental. They would need medical intervention to heal their disorder. The same goes for video gaming.


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