Excessive gaming officially declared as addictive disorder by WHO

World Health Organisation (WHO) recently declared excessive mobile, video gaming as a disorder. Several mental and physical illness issues come up due to excessive gaming. “Gaming disorder” alongside “gambling disorder” has officially placed in the 11th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11) list of “disorders due to addictive behaviours”. Games like PUBG, Loot Boxes and Blue Whale have a darker side that health professionals can no longer ignore.

The International Classification of Diseases – ICD is a foundation for recognition of health issues and trends globally and the international standard for reporting diseases and health problems. It is used by medical experts around the globe to detect conditions and by researchers to categorize conditions.

A decision on inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 is based on reviews of available evidence and reflects a consensus of experts from different disciplines and geographical regions that were involved in the process of technical consultations undertaken by WHO in the process of ICD-11 development.

The inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11 follows the development of treatment programmes for people with health conditions identical to those characteristic of gaming disorder in many parts of the world, and will result in the increased attention of health professionals to the risks of development of this disorder and, accordingly, to relevant prevention and treatment measures.

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