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WHO declares video game addiction a ‘mental disorder’

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The World Health Organisation (WHO) has tagged compulsive video gaming as a mental health condition.

The UN health agency, in its updated classification manual realeased on Monday, said video game addiction should now officially read ‘gaming disorder’.

“For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning,” WHO said.

It added that such behavioural pattern would normally have been evident for at least 12 months.

The formal designation of “gaming disorder” within WHO’s International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) was welcomed by some groups as helpful to sufferers.

Others, however, saw the official designation as causing needless concern among parents.

“There are few truer snapshots of a country’s well-being than its health statistics,” the UN agency also said.

According to WHO, ICD is the “bedrock for health statistics,” codifying the human condition from birth to death, including all factors that influence health.

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