In the organisation’s latest version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), gaming disorder has been listed as an addiction.
The ICD is an annual publication released by the WHO which is used internationally as a ‘standard diagnostic tool for health management and clinical purposes.’
As per the latest version which is to release (ICD 11), gaming addiction has been deemed a mental health disorder based on a few select characteristics. ‘Increased frequency and intensity’ of gaming has been cited as a predominant attribute of the disorder.
In addition, the ICD states that any person who is giving precedence to gaming over any other activities in life and also continued gaming in spite of negative consequences in other areas of life is also attributed to the addiction.
According to the WHO, the gaming behaviour and related features have to be observed in an individual over a period of 12 months for an official diagnosis to be considered.
Mental health experts have long spoken out against the harmful effects of prolonged gaming, but this is the first time that it is being officially recognised as a mental health disorder by the international body.
Smartphone, social media, and even gaming de-addiction facilities have long been set-up at institutions throughout the country, with many parents bringing in their children to be treated for addiction to gadgets.