WHO warns of gaming disorder! Don't lose your mind, check symptoms

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Video game Charles Platiau/Reuters

If you are a hardcore video game player and can't let that controller go away for a moment, then you must know that World Health Organization (WHO) thinks that your actions could make you a patient of mental illness.

According to researchers, this illness is called gaming disorder. In the latest manual of the International Classification of Diseases, which will be published in 2018, the details of this disorder will be also included into the eleventh edition, as it is considered as a serious health condition.

As claimed by New Scientist, even though the wording of the gaming disorder is yet to be finalised, the draft outline currently lists a variety of criteria clinicians, which could be used to determine whether someone has this illness or not.

Earlier, scientists have said that if someone plays 'Super Mario' video game, then it will help them to increase the brain function in adults. On the other hand, a study which was published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders claimed that video games might help autistic children to improve their posture and position. Now, world health monitoring body, WHO is claiming the exact opposite.

A member of the WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Vladimir Poznyak has said, "Health professionals need to recognise that gaming disorder may have serious health consequences."

"Most people who play video games don't have a disorder, just like most people who drink alcohol don't have a disorder either. However, in certain circumstances overuse can lead to adverse effects," he further added.

On the other hand, to WHO's new declaration, American Psychiatric Association (APA) had already created a list of nine standard symptoms that could help to determine "internet gaming disorder"a few years ago.

In this case, a group of researchers from the University of Oxford did a study, which was published in American Journal of Psychiatry.

They proceeded a survey on men and women from UK, the US, Canada and Germany, where they found that two to three percent out of 19000 individuals had experienced five or more of the symptoms of this illness from APA checklist.

"To our knowledge, these are the first findings from a large-scale project to produce robust evidence on the potential new problem of 'internet gaming disorder,'" said Dr Andrew Przybylski, lead author from the University of Oxford study.

"Contrary to what was predicted, the study did not find a clear link between potential addiction and negative effects on health; however, more research grounded in open and robust scientific practices is needed to learn if games are truly as addictive as many fear," he further added.

This article was first published on December 23, 2017