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Gaming Disorder Mental HealthCome 2018 and we may have gaming disorder officially classified as a mental health issue by none other than WHO (World Health Organization). The question is – can addiction to gaming be considered a mental health problem? WHO thinks that it can be. So, we have Vladimir Poznyak, who feels that health officials are required to give serious thought about the same quite simply because, gaming disorder might as well have serious impact on our health.

Notably, Poznyak is a member of the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse at WHO.

Gaming Disorder: The Findings and More

So, what exactly have we got here? Let us reiterate—it is for the first time that gaming disorder will officially be declared as a mental health issue. The International Classification of Diseases – a diagnostic manual from the stable of WHO is going to publish its 11th edition in the year 2018 where gaming disorder will be mentioned as a serious mental health problem. However, WHO is yet to reveal the exact term which will be used to signify gaming disorder.

If you have already gone through the New Scientist reports, you are already aware of the fact that the aforementioned publication will reveal the criteria to determine whether at all someone has gaming disorder or not. As of now, it has already been reported that anybody who over-prioritizes gaming — i.e. attaches more importance to it than other interests in life- might as well be regarded as someone who has this disorder. Do read on to find out more information, which has surfaced so far.

What should you Remember?

Poznyak very distinctly points out that addiction to gaming has never really been viewed as a disorder so far. According to him people who play video games “don’t have a disorder” just like alcoholics don’t have a disorder. However, it is extremely important to admit that overuse can lead to serious health consequences.

Internet Institute (Oxford University), had, in the recent past conducted a study to find out the exact percentage of gamers that were actually addicted to video games. The results of the study were published in the American Journal of Psychiatry and it was found that only 2 or 3 per cent of the participants from the US, Canada, UK and Germany actually revealed that they experienced five or more signs that “qualified” as relevant health symptoms (as per the checklist prepared by American Psychiatric Association). Some of the symptoms included in the checklist include withdrawal symptoms, anxiety and antisocial behavior.

Is it Too Soon to Reach a Conclusion

The aforementioned study – of course—did not find a link between adverse health effects and potential addiction. And, it has been opined that more robust studies in more scientific environs are required to draw conclusions in this regard.

So, while it can be said that there is nothing which confirms as of now that addition to video games has definitive mental health issues, hardcore gamers should still keep track of further findings to keep themselves aware and “mend ways” if needed.

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