WHO will classify video game addiction as a mental health condition next year

Darryl Esguerra
PUBLISHED December 29, 2017 08:42 am

(Inside Manila) The World Health Organization (WHO) will recognize "gaming disorder" or video game addiction as an official mental health condition in its next revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) next year.

A beta draft of the WHO's 11th ICD includes a gaming disorder entry, which is described as an addiction to video games both online and offline.

According to WHO, Gaming Disorder is "characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior," which include the feeling of having no control over how much you play, putting gaming over other life priorities, and continuing to play games despite negative consequences.

"The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning," the entry reads.

These symptoms generally need to persist for about a year for someone to be diagnosed with gaming disorder, but this duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe, according to the WHO.

Unfortunately, the entry does not include any information about prevention or treatment of gaming disorder, at least, not yet.


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