What are your experiences of gaming addiction? Share your stories


In the newly issued WHO's International Classification of Diseases catalogue, which classifies more than 55,000 diseases, injuries and causes of death, "gender incongruence" is now listed under "conditions related to sexual health", instead of "mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental disorders".

About gaming disorder, the World Health Organization says it affects only a "small proportion of people", and that the characteristics denoting the condition must be present in someone for at least 12 months before it can be officially diagnosed as a disorder.

Now, the World Health Organization has concluded that video game addiction is a mental disease. If you are a video game enthusiast or at least know others that love to spend hours playing games you might be interested in the three major diagnostic features or characteristics of gaming disorder.

The symptoms are similar to what one can see in someone who is addicted to gambling, for example, as the WHo says that disorders due to "addictive behaviors include gambling disorder and gaming disorder, which may involve both online and offline behaviour". Has your child been treated for a gaming disorder?

A draft of the International Classification of Diseases manual includes a new definition for "gaming disorder" that is now pending approval.

However, video gaming addiction appears to be treated in a similar way as how the World Health Organization described a gambling addiction. Anthony Bean, a psychologist and executive director of a non-profit mental health clinic, believes the move is premature.

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We all play games, don't we? The behavior pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

"It enables us to understand so much about what makes people get sick and die, and to take action to prevent suffering and save lives", WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said as the ICD was published.

The report, The International Classification of Diseases (ICD- 11), has been updated over the past 10 years.

"It's sending a very strong message that the rest of the world is no longer considering it a mental disorder", says Dr. Michael First, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University and the chief technical consultant to the new edition of the codebook.

Dr Mark Griffiths, who has been researching the concept of video gaming disorder for 30 years, said the new classification would help legitimise the problem and strengthen treatment strategies.