Too Much Gaming Could Lead to Mental Health Disorder

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The World Health Organization is now recognizing excessive gaming as a mental health disorder.

The WHO's eleventh worldwide diagnostic manual is due in 2018.

Rewari added he had friends that were failing school because of video game addiction.

"Gaming is highly addictive", said ESET security specialist Mark James, "and it is no wonder so many respondents from our study admit to playing them for so long".

Putting that category of activities on the list would give doctors and mental health professionals a way to officially diagnose someone with the condition.

The World Health Organisation is preparing to classify persistent video gaming for the first time as an addictive health disorder, three years after India set up its first government-run clinic for people with gaming and mobile phone addiction.

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According to the marketing group NPD, video game console spending in the U.S.is up 27 percent from a year ago, up to $1.9 billion. The only other disorder listed in the subsection of "addictive behaviors", next to Gaming Disorder, is Gambling Disorder.

University of Oxford psychologist Andrew Przybylski echoed Ferguson's concerns, adding that "It's a very bad idea".

A World Health Organization spokesperson pointed to the prevalence of gaming.

Both Ferguson and Przybylski acknowledge that some people overdo gaming at the expense of their health and sanity. The analysis, which appeared in the American Journal of Psychiatry revealed that around 3 percent of people playing video game turn their hobby into an addiction. Brian Vigneault died at age 35 while participating in an online video game marathon that was raising money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

On the positive side, research has shown that game playing can relieve stress, improve problem-solving abilities, and enhance traits like eye-hand coordination.

But problematic gaming may also serve as a dysfunctional coping mechanism for some, according to the Nottingham Trent researchers. Would you choose gaming over spending time with family and friends?

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