Select Region
Helping Parents Make Better Decisions
100+ Things to Do This Summer - Read the Guide Today!

The World Health Organization Lists New Mental Health Condition: 'Gaming Disorder'

The World Health Organization Lists New Mental Health Condition: 'Gaming Disorder'

The latest update to the International Classification of Diseases recognizes addiction to video games as a mental health condition.


There are countless studies that cite the health and safety issues of playing too many video games, from headaches and obesity to violence. And now the World Health Organization (WHO) is taking a stance by listing ‘gaming disorder’ as a mental health condition in an update to the International Classification of Diseases, according to the World Health Organization.

The move, announced on Monday, citescompulsively playing video as a new mental health condition. The WHO says the classification is meant to help governments, families, and healthcare providers be more vigilant and identify at-risk individuals.

According to the organization,gaming may be a disorder if a person loses control over their gaming habits, starts to prioritize gaming over other interests or activities, and continues playing despite clear negative consequences.

But it’s important to note that not all gamers—even avid gamers—have a gaming disorder. The WHO says the condition is rare, with no more than up to 3 percent of all gamers believed to be affected.

Joan Harvey, PhD, a spokeswoman for the British Psychological Society not associated with the decision to make the designation, warned that the new guidelines may cause unnecessary concern among parents. "People need to understand this doesn't mean every child who spends hours in their room playing games is an addict, otherwise medics are going to be flooded with requests for help," said Dr. Harvey.

Others say the new classification is critical to help teenagers or young adults who don't seek help themselves. "Be on the lookout," says Shekhar Saxena, MSD, director of WHO's department for mental health and substance abuse. "If [video games] are interfering with the expected functions of the person—whether it is studies, whether it's socialization, whether it's work—then you need to be cautious and perhaps seek help.”



Want more content like this?


More Health Articles:

14 Mindfulness Activities for Kids

14 Mindfulness Activities for Kids

These mindfulness activities for kids will teach children how to meditate, slow down, be aware, and breathe for a moment to help with the anxiety and ...

Latest News:

Family Activities:

Have a Laugh:

Brigitt Earley

Author: Brigitt Earley is a freelance writer and editor based in NJ. She’s a new mom to a baby boy, runs an Instagram account full of the most delicious food she can find (@literallyallthefood), and loves to hate a good barre class. See More

Featured Listings:

Advantage Care Health Center

Advantage Care Health Center

Brookville, NY Advantage Care Health Centers along with The Fay J. Lindner Center for Autism are Long Island’s premier Federally Qualified Health Care Centers (FQHC...

Child Behavior Consulting, LLC

Child Behavior Consulting, LLC

Child Behavior Consulting (CBC) specializes in turning, “I can’t” into “I CAN!” when working with children who have ADHD, executive functioning delays...

The Waldorf School of Garden City

The Waldorf School of Garden City

Garden City, NY Founded in 1947, The Waldorf School of Garden City is an independent, coeducational, college-preparatory day school for students age three through twe...

Lice Clinics of America -- Westchester

Lice Clinics of America -- Westchester

White Plains, Lice Clinics of America Long Island ends the nightmare of lice by dehydrating lice and their eggs in one single 60 minute lice removal treatment. Our ...