Too Much Gaming Could Lead to Mental Health Disorder

'Gaming Disorder' to be recognized as mental health condition for first time

"Gaming disorder" will be added to the official list of diseases by the world health organization next year.

Basically, you play a lot of videogames.

The symptoms of "gaming disorder" are actually not all that different from a more traditional substance abuse disorder, save for the hangovers and physical withdrawals.

According to a beta draft from the World Health Organization, the disorder is qualified as a "pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior" either online or offline, that basically takes over a gamer's "life interests and daily activities", despite possible consequences.

The world at large seems to be paying attention to video games this year.

Further, "the behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning".

In 2015, a 17-year-old Russian boy was rushed to hospital and died after falling into a coma while playing video games nearly continuously for 22 days, only stopping to sleep and eat.

Due out in 2018, the upcoming 11th revision would mark the first time video game-related addiction has appeared on the diagnostic manual's pages.

"We just don't think it's a good idea to let them spend hours playing video games", said Knoxville mother Meredith Prince.

This does not mean that gaming disorder is a done deal: The caveats note that the draft is not final, is updated on a daily basis, and is not yet approved by WHO.

The WHO decision was hailed by many experts as they know video games can be addictive, yet the issue has been rarely discussed. That said, "Internet Gaming Disorder" was also proposed for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) in 2013, but was ultimately slated for further study because of a lack of evidence supporting its inclusion.

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