ESA Issues Statement On WHO "Gaming Disorder" Diagnosis

The United Nations' WHO has been contemplating the declaration of compulsive video game playing as a mental health condition since previous year, and the game industry has been pushing back.

This means that those diagnosed will be entitled to be treated by the NHS.

Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

The agency described the addiction as a "pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour" that becomes so extensive it "takes precedence over other life interests".

WHO has said that gaming disorder is a serious health condition that requires monitoring. 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 previous year that they would include "gaming disorder" as a condition.

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According to WHO, health concerns associated with gaming behavior include insufficient physical activity, unhealthy diet, problems with eyesight or hearing, musculoskeletal problems, sleep deprivation, aggressive behavior, depression and psychosocial functioning. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and learning ways to live with computers responsibly. It forms a basis for the World Health Organisation and other experts to see and respond to trends in health.

A 2013 statement from the group said it's "a condition warranting more clinical research and experience before it might be considered for inclusion" in its manual.

The proposed disorder falls under the category of substance abuse or addictive behaviors, which reads: "Disorders due to substance use and addictive behaviours are mental and behavioural disorders that develop as a result of the use of predominantly psychoactive substances, including medications, or specific repetitive rewarding and reinforcing behaviours". There wasn't, for instance, enough data to prove the existence of potential tech-based conditions such as smartphone addiction or internet addiction, he said. It has been included for the first time alongside another addictive disorder: Hoarding.

He concluded: "We have not crossed all our "ts" and dotted all our "is" with regard to the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of gaming addictions".

The classification is aimed at alerting health professionals and systems to the existence of this condition and ensuring that people suffering from these conditions can get appropriate help.

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