WHO: Video game disorder is a mental illness

The WHO has given a firm and expected by a large part of the medical community, to recognize the disorder by video games as mental illness.

The WHO recognizes the video game disorder as a mental illness, an excessive dependence that was already known as one of the new addictions without substances, along with the addiction to social networks and new technologies. A recognition by the WHO (World Health Organization) that comes with the inclusion of this new disorder in the next edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), and that had not been updated since 1992. A tool used by researchers and doctors around the world for the diagnosis of diseases.

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The WHO, which points out that video game disorder is extensive to digital games, also emphasizes that the pattern of behavior must be serious enough to cause significant deterioration, as well as having spent at least 12 months to assign a diagnosis, except in cases where the symptoms are severe.

The use and abuse of new technologies have led to an intense debate about whether they can generate pathological disorders, and have even emerged new patterns of addictive behavior that have had to be named, such as suffering addiction or vamping among the youngest.

In our country alone, 18% of the population of adolescents and young people between the ages of 14 and 18 abusively use new technologies, which has also led to the inclusion of video game addiction in the first National Addiction Strategy 2017-2024. At the global level, the decision of the WHO supposes a firm support in the direction of treating the disorder by video games as a mental disorder.

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WHO and video games

In accordance with the criteria established by the WHO, it is considered that the disorder may have resulted in a mental illness when there is a loss of control over the game, losing the notion of time spent on the game and not being able to control its behavior.

The video game becomes the first, and almost exclusive, priority for those who suffer from this disorder or addictive dependence. Any other vital interest or daily activity takes a back seat, and although the physical and emotional deterioration is evident, the affected person will want to continue playing despite the negative consequences. Although most people playing video games do not have any problem, if we notice the slightest symptom of dependence on the mobile or any other technological device, it is advisable to act and if necessary ask for professional help.

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