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WHO classifies compulsive playing of video games as a mental disorder

The possibility of this condition manifesting itself even in gamers is very low.

  • Published: June 19, 2018 11:07 AM IST
Playing game gamepad xbox controller

World Health Organisation has recently released the ICD-11 which is the diagnostic manual published by it. ICD stands for International Classification of Diseases and the manual was last updated in 1990 and in the most recent edition it has included “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition that needs to be monitored.

The inclusion of this classification means that health professionals will recognize this as a valid condition and treat it so. This means that health facilities will be able to recognize “people who suffer from these conditions can get appropriate help.” Said Vladimir Poznyak, a member of the WHO‘s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse to CNN.

“Millions of gamers around the world, even when it comes to the intense gaming, would never qualify as people suffering from gaming disorder,” he added. He is also of the opinion that the possibility of this condition manifesting itself in most gamers is “very low” and said, “And let me emphasize that this is a clinical condition, and clinical diagnosis can be made only by health professionals which are properly trained to do that.”

The new ICD-11 is set to be presented to the World Health Assembly for adoption by the member states in the month of May 2019 and is scheduled to come in effect on January 1, 2022.

The ICD has 55,000 unique codes for injuries, diseases and causes of death mentioned in it which serves the purpose of identifying health trends and measuring the statistics worldwide.

Lubna Alansari, WHO’s Assistant Director-General talked about the ICD saying, “It is a cornerstone of health information and ICD-11 will deliver an up-to-date view of the patterns of disease.”

  • Published Date: June 19, 2018 11:07 AM IST