Professor commends decision to classify gaming addiction as mental health disorder

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There's a West London clinic, the Centre for Compulsive and Addictive Behaviours, where 100 patients are treated for "digital addictions" such as playing games and watching porn.

While the final version of the diagnostic manual won't be published until next year, it now states that gaming disorder is "characterised by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour ('digital gaming" or "video-gaming'), which may be online (ie. over the internet) or offline". The WHO's final publication is however expected in mid-2018.

ICD is the foundation for the identification of health trends and statistics globally, and the global standard for reporting diseases and health conditions.

In short, WHO has officially declared video game addiction a mental health disorder.

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Many psychiatrists refer to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), the fifth edition of which was published in 2013. An entry on gaming disorder could further compound long-held negative imagery that gamers have faced since the birth of arcades. "I think anything done in excess is unsafe, and that can be anything from playing games to taking drugs they are looking at extreme cases", she said. Maybe your child or your family member has been more down lately, sad or anxious and relying on video games as a way to cope and find supports. This would be "a good thing", he said.Gentile has studied gaming disorder since 1999 and "at that time I was trying to show that it wasn't a problem", he said.

"It is significant because it creates the opportunity for more specialised services. Why not just have a general behavioral addiction category that can apply to anything that people overdo?"

Does everyone who plays video games have a gaming addiction?

He said that he has recently begun to realise that he could have a serious problem. Gentile recommends no more than one hour of screen time - meaning video games, TV, tablets and phones - for elementary school-aged kids and no more than two hours of screen time for secondary school-aged kids. He added there is "increasing demand for treatment in different parts of the world".

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