Gaming habit is a mental health disorder, says WHO

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Flipboard
  • Email
  • WhatsApp
Representational Image
Representational Image

New Delhi : Turns out that your video gaming activities can be classified as mental disorder. Yes, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed digital and video gaming addiction in its new International Classification of Diseases (ICD). The World Health Organisation’s 11th edition of ICD covers 55,000 injuries, diseases and causes of death.

WHO described the addiction as a "pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour" that becomes so wide it "takes precedence over other life interests".

The categorization is intended to alert health professionals and systems to the reality of this condition and ensuring that people suffering from these conditions can get suitable help.

Experts say "Gaming disorder" has three main characteristics. The gaming behaviour takes inclination over other activities to such an extent that other activities are pressed to the side-lined.

Such condition may lead to important distress and impairment in personal, familial, social, educational or occupational functioning.

It is believed that gaming disorder can lead to disturbed sleep patterns, diet problems and deficiency in physical activities

Psychiatrists are stressing the need for ‘digital detox’ as a treatment. Dr Sameer Malhotra, director- mental health and behavioural sciences at Max Healthcare says increasing screen time is leading to lack of human interaction, low emotional connection between children and adults because each one get captivated on to the virtual worlds. "Families have stopped bonding leading to isolated adolescents. Alertness is also poor because of over exposure to harmful radiation from screen exposure."