Gaming Addiction Is Officially A Mental Health Disorder, WHO Announces

Concerned parents will now have a new argument when it comes to limiting their children’s screen time. Perhaps many of us saw this coming but it’s only now that it has become official.

The World Health Organization announced on Monday that video game addiction classifies as a mental disorder.

There has been controversy before over how much should we allow computers and technology overall into our children’s lives. Without a doubt they are prone to abuse it if left on their own.

Although the health benefits of video games are being recognized more and more, there is also more awareness regarding its dangerous aspects.

MORE: Is Internet Addiction Really a Mental Disorder?

But what exactly classifies as a gaming addiction? What’s the difference between an addict and a really passionate gamer? Well, this is how WHO describes addiction to video games:

A pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior that becomes so extensive that it takes precedence over other life interests.

So gaming becomes an issue when we lose interest in any other activities or even interferes with our sleep patterns or eating habits. It’s particularly dangerous as it may lead to complete isolation which in turn can give birth to other mental disorders, like depression or autism.

MORE: Video Games Are Actually Good For Your Brain

Another red flag for gamers is when they continue to play video games despite some negative consequences; this clearly indicates an addiction.

A WHO representative estimated that about 2-3% of video game players develop this disorder. So should parents worry?

The important thing is that the piece of news can spark a conversation. Not only about video games or how much time we should spend online, but about the role of technology as a whole in our lives and its detrimental effects.

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