Does your child have a video ‘gaming disorder?’

The World Health Organization released a new report that for the first time classifies an addiction to video games as a mental health disorder.

“Gaming disorder,” as the WHO calls it, is characterized by “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour,” manifested by “impaired control” over frequency and duration of video gaming, according to the classification. A person can be addicted to video games played on the internet or “offline,” the classification states.

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To be considered “gaming disorder” the pattern must severely inhibit personal, family, social, educational and occupational aspects of a person’s life, according to the WHO. People with gaming disorder will also continue to play video games more despite negative consequences that may arise.

The pattern must be observed over a year in order to be diagnosed, the disorder’s classification states.

The distinctions of "gaming disorder" are similar to those of gambling disorder, CNN reports. Both disorders do not involve the use of substances but are considered addictive.


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