World Health Organization says 'workplace burnout' is official medical condition

Kenny Tucker
May 31, 2019

According to the World Health Organization, "gaming disorder" is characterized by a "pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour" online or offline. The definition given by the World Health Organization for gaming disorder is that it is "a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour" so severe it "takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences". Other addictive behaviours such as hoarding disorder are now included in ICD-11, and conditions such as "excessive sexual drive" has been reclassified as 'compulsive sexual behaviour disorder'.

"Risk of abuse of a formalized new disorder that exclusively involves the behavior of playing video games - a stigmatized entertainment activity - can only expand the false-positive issues in psychiatry", researchers wrote. It contains a chapter on mental, behavioural or neuropsychiatric disorders, which also mentions addiction to games.

In a move passed by the World Health Assembly last week, the peak worldwide health body hopes to "liberate" trans and non-binary people around the world.

"Hazardous gaming refers to a pattern of gaming, either online or offline, that appreciably increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences to the individual or to others around this individual". So there is still time for the gaming community to make its case to get them to not go through with the decision.

However, it's the last part of the classification that is key. "For gaming disorder to be diagnosed, the behaviour pattern must be of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning and would normally have been evident for at least 12 months".

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The updated ICD list was drafted past year following recommendations from health experts around the world.

The American Psychiatric Association also says there is not enough evidence to classify gaming addiction as a unique mental disorder.

In Korea, due to the regulatory processes, the classification may come into force around 2026, the ministry added, seemingly acting more in favor of parents, educators and some civic groups who are advocating the designation of gaming disorder as a disease.

It's not just the ESA that's hitting back at the World Health Organization over this decision.

According to Walker the next conversation should be with a medical professional to help confirm a diagnosis and determine how to treat the symptoms.

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