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'Gaming Disorder' May Be Classified As Mental Health Condition

World Health Organisation draft

'Gaming Disorder' May Be Classified As Mental Health Condition

If you, your partner or sibling has a tendency to get a bit carried away when it comes to gaming, there could be a scientific reason behind the addiction.

The World Health Organisation has considered adding 'gaming disorder' to the list of mental, behavioural and neurodevelopment disorders recognised in the International Classification of Diseases.

This would recognise that gaming can become a disorder if addictive behaviour is present, including characteristics such as:

  • whether a person loses control over their gaming habits;
  • if they start prioritising gaming over other interests or activities; and 
  • if they continue to play despite clear negative consequences.

Current examples of behaviours that are problematic if there is a lack of control exerted include gambling and substance abuse.

However, as explains, this does not mean that all gaming could lead to a disorder.

The distinction would lie where the behaviour is severe enough to impair personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other areas of functioning.