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Compulsive video-game playing now new mental health problem

Rob Stothard Getty Images 2. Video games: 38 percent off

Despite some pushback from various places, including the Entertainment Software Association, the WHO Has nonetheless made a decision to go ahead and keep the disorder in its finalized classifications.

Digging into the terminology a little bit reveals that playing the odd 20-minute game of Federation Internationale de Football Association or plugging an hour into Zelda each weekend is not going to be detrimental to your health. Still, nothing quite compares to this 9-year old girl who opted to keep playing Fortnite rather than use the bathroom. She was that dedicated to playing.

Video gaming has exploded in popularity, and now there is "gaming disorder".

VIDEO gaming can be addictive in the same way as cocaine or gambling, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said today, in a much-anticipated update of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

The WHO said that if gaming takes precedence over daily activities and life interests, then it can be classed as gaming disorder.

To suffer from the disease you must "experience significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of function" and you must have lived with this for at least one year'.

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The disorder affects no more than 3 percent of gamers, the Associated Press reported, with some estimates as low as one percent.

Experts believe it might increase the chances that insurance companies cover treatment for video game addiction, which is often costly.

And yet, that hasn't spotted the larger game industry from coming forward to criticize the diagnosis.

The new ICD edition also includes chapters on traditional medicine, which never had been classified, as well as a new chapter on sexual health that brings together conditions previously categorized in other ways.

It is not yet clear exactly when treatment for the mental health condition will be available on the NHS. "Its inclusion in the ICD would pave way for doctors to diagnose and treat it better, while governments can use it to develop public health strategies to tackle it", Dr Shekhar Saxena, director, department for mental health and substance abuse, WHO, told TOI. "We understand that our industry and supporters around the world will continue raising their voices in opposition to this move and urge the WHO to avoid taking steps that would have unjustified implications for national health systems across the world".

The ICD is also used by health insurers whose reimbursements depend on ICD classifications.

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