Game disorder remarked as mental health condition by WHO

In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) will officially remark video game addiction or gaming disorder as a mental health condition.  According to New Scientists, the diagnosis will be featured in its International Classification of Diseases manual. The category where gambling addiction belongs, gaming disorder, which is focused on video games, will also fall under the category of “disorders due to addictive behavior.”

Mental Health

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM 5) added internet gaming disorder as a condition needing more clinical research. The American Psychiatric Association (APA), the DSM5 was published in 2013 and separate from WHO.  Most of the people who play internet video games did not report symptoms, and the percentage of those who might qualify for the disorder was extremely small, according to the American Psychiatry Association (APA).

Chris Ferguson, a psychology professor at Stetson University with a research interest in video games said one of the greatest myths is that pathological gaming is comparable to alcohol or drugs like methamphetamine. Then he added that Part of this misunderstanding is because some drugs activate pleasure centers of the brain that work with dopamine. Vladimir Poznyak, a member of the WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, said: “Most people who play video games don’t have a disorder, just like most people who drink alcohol don’t have a disorder either.

Anthony Bean, a psychologist in Texas, published a paper which interrogated the decision to classify gaming disorder as a pathological condition. He also told Polygon that “One of the major concerns that we have is that we’re putting the cart before the horse on this one. We don’t know what video game addiction is the psychology and medical fields took the concept of addiction and just switched it out with video games. The thinking was ‘oh it’s a form of addiction. It’s like any other addiction.’ But it’s not the same.”