Video Game Addiction is Real Disease

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Video game addiction will soon become a diagnosable metal health condition, at least in the eyes of leading worldwide health officials.

To be diagnosed with gaming disorder, a person's behavior must significantly impact other important aspects of their life, such as their relationships or their ability to hold down a job. The pattern of gaming behavior may be continuous or episodic and recurrent.

The WHO defines Gaming Disorder as:"Impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences". The NHS (National Health Service) will treat people who have become "addicted" to video games after being declared a Mental Health problem. With the significant opposition from the medical and scientific community, the World Health Organization should consider the mounting evidence put before them before making a decision on the inclusion of a "gaming disorder" in the final version of ICD-11 next year. Gaming disorder can lead to disturbed sleep patterns, diet problems and deficiency in physical activities. Although that may sound intense, so was her video game addiction. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and learning ways to live with computers responsibly.

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It will now be recognised by the World Health Organisation. In a 2013 statement, the association said it's "a condition warranting more clinical research and experience before it might be considered for inclusion" in its own diagnostic manual.

The proposed disorder falls under the category of substance abuse or addictive behaviors, which reads: "Disorders due to substance use and addictive behaviours are mental and behavioural disorders that develop as a result of the use of predominantly psychoactive substances, including medications, or specific repetitive rewarding and reinforcing behaviours". Anthony Bean, a licensed psychologist and executive director at The Telos Project, argues that gaming "more as a coping mechanism for either anxiety or depression".

The wording of the new entries has been known since January, when the World Health Organization announced problem gaming would be recognised as a pathological condition. The question is whether the games industry can provide enough current research to counter the gaming disorder definition before the manual is approved sometime next year. This official recognition of the condition will raise awareness among doctors and healthcare networks, as well as improving the odds that "people who suffer from these conditions [will] get appropriate help".

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