Game Addiction Now a Mental Health Condition World Health Organization concerned for Gamers

Game Addiction has been declared a mental health condition by the World Health Organization. This news comes shortly after the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles. Gamers are known to spend hours on end playing video games online and with friends. This phenomenon has increased with more and more popular games being released every year. These games are accompanied by edgier gadgets to play them on, with the likes of the Sony PlayStation, Nintendo, and Xbox as a popular choice for gamers.

The World Health Organization included it as a mental health condition in their 11th International Classification of Diseases. However, a psychologist with WHO has been quick to convey the major diagnostic features for a gamer to be declared an ‘addict’. In general, gaming activities take precedence over other activities in your life. Ordering in instead of going out to eat or even making a meal is probably something you have seen with gamers before. Perhaps they go off their cells for days, only to find them in the house on a couch glued to their screen!

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There could be an impaired control of gaming activities. This means, aside from having negative effects from playing games, they have no control over themselves but to continue. Virtual reality games tend to live on in the minds of obsessed players. Sometimes it is just for fun, but other times it has proven detrimental. Affecting the self-esteem and mental health of the players. This condition leads to significant distress and impairment in personal and social lives. As well as poor educational and occupational functioning.

If you find yourself playing games during work hours, forgetting to do your academic work, it may be time to re-evaluate your priorities and follow a more productive schedule. Twenty minutes to an hour a day is not detrimental says WHO. However, when one hour turns to an 8-hour binge, it starts to become unhealthy. As of now, there are no treatment methods and the prevalence for this condition is low. For one to be diagnosed as a gaming addict, this pattern of behavior must be ongoing for at least 12 months.

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