WHO classifies Gaming Addiction as a Disease!

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PUBG Addiction is a new problem which all the mental health professionals have been seeing lately depicts the impact gaming disorders can have on people’s lives. It has been seen that not only youngsters but even adults upto 30years of age have been suffering from this issue. This problem has now been deemed as an illness by world health organisation in its latest assembly ie, 72nd world health assembly and has classified gaming disorders as an illness under “Disorders due to Addictive Behaviours” in the latest edition of ICD, a manual which classifies all the physical and psychological illnesses. So, its time you identify this illness and encourage people to seek help. Foe reference the official ICD-11 diagnostic guidelines are quoted below.

Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour [sic] (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline, manifested by:

1. Impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context);

2. Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities;

3. Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences. The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.

Dr. Rahul Mathur, MD

Consultant Psychiatrist, Indore

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