Persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour' despite negative consequences would be a disorder, a World Health Organization policy draft says.
What is gaming disorder?
The WHO defines the disorder as a “persistent or recurrent” behavior pattern of “sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.” The disorder is characterized by “impaired control” with increasing priority given to gaming and “escalation,” despite “negative consequences.”
In the beta draft of its forthcoming 11th International Classification of Diseases, WHO has included gaming disorder in its list of mental health conditions. Mental health experts and psychiatrists said this is the need of the hour as nearly 7% of population studied for gaming and internet addiction exhibited symptoms of depression and anxiety, and somatisation, including behavioural changes and sleep disturbances.
“Although gaming disorder is affecting a small population now, it is likely to be a major mental health problem in the coming years. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) of Mental Disorders -V, a diagnostic bible for mental health professionals published by the American Psychiatric Association, has already classified gaming disorder as a mental health condition,” Prasad Rao G., who recently stepped down as president of Indian Psychiatric Society, told The Hindu.
About International Classification of Diseases:
ICD is the “basis for identification of health trends and statistics globally and the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions. It is used by medical practitioners around the world to diagnose conditions and by researchers to categorize conditions.” The WHO’s ICD lists both mental and physical disorders.