WHO: Classify video game addiction as a mental illness

WHO: Video game addiction is included in the International Classification of Diseases

Video games are particularly popular with younger people. However, many parents are worried that playing too much harms the children. Indeed, constant “daddling” can have negative consequences. Some people cannot stop and become addicted to it. The World Health Organization (WHO) will include video game addiction in the International Classification of Diseases next year.

Video game addiction is included in the International Classification of Diseases

Computer games are particularly popular with children and adolescents. Parents are usually less happy about this. Because video games have a reputation for being aggressive or even anti-social. In addition, many people can no longer get away from the console and the screen and develop a gambling addiction. So far, many have not taken this seriously. Something could change soon. The World Health Organization (WHO) plans to include addiction to video games in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) next year.

Effects of computer games

Video games are often better than their reputation. Scientific studies have shown that some computer gamers can learn significantly better and that video games are sometimes good for brain development.

In addition, researchers recently reported that certain video games could protect against dementia.

However, studies also showed the negative side of “daddling”. Canadian scientists found that some video games can destroy valuable brain mass in the hippocampus area.

Such games can also make you addicted.

Take precedence over other life interests

The World Health Organization (WHO) is expected to adopt its new International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, or IDC for short, in May 2018.

Then, for the first time, video game addiction will also be included in the globally recognized classification system for medical diagnoses.

“Gaming disorder” is apparently classified as a gambling addiction, as can be seen from a draft of the new ICD version 11 that is already publicly available.

Video game addiction is therefore classified as a “disorder due to addictive behavior” in the area of ​​“psychological, behavioral or neurological development disorders”.

A game disorder manifests itself, among other things, as an "increasing priority for gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities," the experts write.

"The behavioral pattern is so severe that there are significant impairments in personal, family, social, educational, professional or other important functional areas," it continues.

"The pattern of gaming behavior can be continuous or episodic and recurring." A diagnosis can usually only be made after about twelve months.

Not every player has a problem

"Health professionals need to recognize that gambling disorders can have serious health consequences," said Vladimir Poznyak of the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse in a report by the British newspaper Independent.

"Most people who play video games have no disorder, just as most people who drink alcohol have no disorder," said the expert.

But: "In certain circumstances, however, excessive use can have negative effects." (Ad)

Author and source information

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