World Health Organization classifies 'Gaming Disorder' as a disease

The World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases (ICD) publication, now in version ICD-11 and first known as the International List of Causes of Death when it was adopted back in 1893, is created to make cross-border statistical reporting and treatment easier by ensuring that everyone is using the same terms with the same definitions.

It's hoped the new official classification will encourage gamers to seek help for their addiction and others take their disorder more seriously. Has your child been treated for a gaming disorder?

Gaming disorders are now being listed as a mental health condition, meaning that it can be diagnosed by doctors.

Video games and the internet were supposed to be tools for us to use and enjoy. Most of the roughly 160 million American adults who play games online will not experience the addiction.

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has qualified it as a mental health condition. 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 a year ago that they would include "gaming disorder" as a condition. There is no doubt that there are people who are likely to end up addicted to playing games, although this is more likely a symptom of some other issue. Gambling disorder was in ICD-10, but gaming disorder relates to "digital or video gaming". Gaming disorder has been added to the section on mental and addictive disorders because demand for services to tackle this condition has been growing. The 11th edition of ICD covers 55,000 injuries, diseases and causes of death.

However, she warns that video gaming addiction affects just a small percentage of the world's population - but adds that "it must be recognised" early, as it can "last a year before diagnosis". People with gaming disorder increasingly prioritize gaming over other activities, even when that could yield negative consequences.

The games industry raked in $108 billion dollars worldwide in 2017, more than double movie box-office receipts, according to Superdata, which tracks the games and interactive media sector.

A draft of the International Classification of Diseases manual includes a new definition for "gaming disorder" that is now pending approval. This could pave the way for such treatments to be covered by insurance as insurance reimbursements are also based on ICD coding.

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