Video game addiction is now officially recognised as an illness

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Video game addiction is now officially recognised as an illness

To be diagnosed with gaming disorder, a person's behavior must significantly impact other important aspects of their life, such as their relationships or their ability to hold down a job.

Due to this, the NHS, which is the Health Service in the United Kingdom, will be treating people who have this condition.

The consequences that ICD coding has on provision of care, as well as health financing and insurance, means that clinicians, patient groups, and insurers, among others, take the use of the ICD extremely seriously - many groups often have strong positions on whether or not a condition should be included, or how it should be categoriszed.

"We come across parents who are distraught, not only because they're seeing their child drop out of school, but because they're seeing an entire family structure fall apart", said Dr. Henrietta Bowden-Jones, a spokeswoman for behavioral addictions at Britain's Royal College of Psychiatrists. The research supporting inclusion is highly contested and inconclusive.

The group noted that much of the scientific literature about compulsive gamers is based on evidence from young men in Asia. Most of the roughly 160 million American adults who play games online will not experience the addiction. "The gaming prompts a neurological response that influences feelings of pleasure and reward, and the result, in the extreme, is manifested as addictive behavior". The U.S. video game industry - through its Entertainment Software Association lobbying group - threw its support behind several academics who opposed the WHO's efforts when it confirmed past year that they would include "gaming disorder" as a condition. "We welcome the inclusion of gaming disorder in ICD-11, which will over time help to understand the true prevalence of harmful gaming".

Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

The WHO stressed that only a small number of people who use digital or video games develop gaming disorder.

"Be on the lookout", he said, noting that concerns should be raised if the gaming habit appears to be taking over.

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