The World Health Organisation (WHO) on Monday recognised “gaming disorder” as a new mental health condition in the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases. Dr Vladimir Poznyak, a member of WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, had proposed the new diagnosis to WHO’s decision making body saying that it was not a precedent but the inclusion of the trends, the developments, which take place in population and professional fields.
However, the move has raised several questions from various dissenting psychologists arguing that millions of gamers around the world who would never qualify as people suffering from gaming disorder now might come under this category of mental disorder.
Poznyak revealed that there are 3 major diagnostic features of gaming disorder.
First: The gaming compulsion takes precedence over other activities to the extent that it pushes other activities to the periphery.
Second: Impaired control of gaming disorder behaviour, which means that when the negative consequences occur, this behaviour escalates.
Third: The gaming compulsion leads to major distress and impairment in personal, family social, educational or occupational functioning.
The move means that those affected can now receive treatment, and Britain’s National Health Service has announced to treat children for free.
Last month, when speculations were rife about the inclusion of gaming disorder in WHO’s classification of Diseases, Tarik Jasarevic cautioned that it was too early to speculate on the scope of the problem.
“Gaming disorder is a relatively new concept and epidemiological data at the population level are yet to be generated”, he was quoted by ‘thejournal’ as saying.
Despite the dearth of hard data experts agreed that gaming disorder was an issue and that official inclusion in the ICD was an appropriate step as per Jasarevic.