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'Gaming disorder' to be included as mental health condition by World Health Organization.


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More of my thoughts:

The World Health Organization has decided to recognize 'gaming disorder' in the ICD-11 (International Classification of Diseases) next year.

This news is a huge victory for those who struggle with gaming addiction or problematic gaming of some kind, and brings us one step closer to being able to provide them with the support they deserve.

This news is also a victory for gamers who don't have challenges, because they can now game in peace. To recognize this disorder is not to pathologize gaming or further stigmatize gamers, nor is it to neglect other mental health concerns. 

It's simply to recognize that 'gaming disorder' has a specific criteria, and when assessed by a licensed professional, those who want help can receive it.

During this time it's important to acknowledge that one of the main reasons people with an addiction or mental health challenge don't seek help is due stigma - the fear of being judged, dismissed, or misunderstood. Recognizing 'gaming disorder' encourages those who want help to seek it without these fears.

I have to admit I was surprised to receive official recognition this soon, but grateful to know how many people it will help.

Thank you!

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have a bit mixed feelings about these bibles like the DSM-5 or this ICD...  it seems like some self-proclaimed experts and the pharmaceutical industry just come up with an arbitrary list of what is pathological and what isn't, trying to "invent" as many new mental disorders as possible.

And I think thats how this news is perceived by the majority of people (just look at the comment section of the news sites). Even though I now agree through personal experience about this new "gaming disorder",  most people reading the headlines will just shake their heads about it. I remember when I read about weird additions to the DSM, e.g. when you're grieving for more than 2 weeks about the death of a close person, it's a mental disorder. Who comes up with such arbitrary cut-offs? It has nothing to do with science.

If I imagine myself back in the days of being a gaming addict (not so hard, since it was not long ago :D ) , I couldn't care less what some international organization of elitist academics that are out of touch with reality define as healthy or unhealthy. "Some overpaid authority figure wants to ruin my hobby? Awesome, thats exactly what I want to hear."   
Actually, now that I put it into words, I still think like this. 

What is important, and what perhaps hopefully comes out of this as a positive side-effect, is that we perform more research in this area. We need to know why and how exactly games are messing up peoples brains. I think the results, the hard cold data will speak for themselves. If you look at recent scientific literature, its shocking http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0149763416302925 what is revealed about brain changes.

Edited by drflox
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That's the point most people seem to be missing. It's not about "Ok, gaming disorder now exists because I say so. Signed, WHO". Authority for the sake of authority is a dialectic fallacy. What's important is to make the headlines, so people can think by themselves: "Is it? Really? Am I playing too much? Is my son playing too much?", etc. The specific criteria is going to take more time, the debate so far has been "Video game addiction is not real, because no one has seriously reported problems with it" , while all the cases (even deaths) were dismissed as exceptions. Now it will be harder to look away from the issue, and in my opinion that should be celebrated. Flu scams aside. 

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