Do You Suffer from "Gaming Disorder" ?

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IcyEyes

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#1  Edited By IcyEyes
CBSNewYork:

The World Health Organization is poised to classify “gaming disorder” as a mental health problem.

Gaming disorder can be diagnosed if it “is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning,” according to the draft of WHO’s 2018 International Classification of Diseases.

The disorder is not characterized by playing a video game here or there, but rather by lack of ability to control when one games, “increasing priority give to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities,” and continuing to game avidly despite having negative consequences for doing so.

I have mixed feelings about this proposal. On the one hand, I do believe gaming habits can become really unhealthy, but this can also apply to any kind of habit, not just gaming. Creating a disorder specifically for gaming seems like it would only help further stigmatize the activity. So is this classification really necessary? Has video gaming really gotten that bad?

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elmorales94

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I definitely play games every day of the week when I should be getting work done, but I'd say that's just me being a shit.

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Efesell

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#3 Efesell  Online

Oh I don't like this one bit. Sounds like another way to just drag games and not look at underlying problems that were already there.

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FrostyRyan

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lmfao

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ichthy

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Er, I thought addiction was the disorder, it manifest itself differently for different people. I really don't see the point in this.

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Teddie

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#6  Edited By Teddie  Online

Sounds more like a symptom that a cause. Are they gonna make the same distinction for people who watch too much TV, browse the internet all day, or spend too much time trying to invent new disorders?

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IcyEyes

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#7  Edited By IcyEyes

@ichthy:"disorder" is a bit broader than "addiction", but I'm treating them as interchangeable here.

I suspect the primary goal might be to open the door to stronger regulatory control of video games in the future. Since the classification of video game addiction as a mental health issue means you can now claim this is a public health issue/crisis that the government needs better control of. It will be interesting to see how this plays out and what the gaming press thinks of it.

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uhtaree

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Yes.

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mikewhy

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#9  Edited By mikewhy

"The disorder is not characterized by playing a video game here or there, but rather by lack of ability to control when one games"

This bit worries me, since "gamification" has been growing more and more popular for the better part of a decade.

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bybeach

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No. I have other potential areas to be watchful of. But I get way more out of gaming than as a threat of addiction

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FacelessVixen

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Seeing as how you can switch out "gaming" with pretty much anything and call it a disorder, I'm callin' bullshit.

Thanks loot boxes.

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DocHaus

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If this means we can get people committed to a mental hospital for screaming the N-word over team chat then I'm on board.

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bobeta

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I think games have a way of grabbing people more than other forms of media. Who here hasn't known someone who lost a job or failed out of school due to playing WoW or DOTA or Counter Strike 60 hours a week? I certainly have and feel if gambling addiction is real, it seems fair to catoragorize gaming - which borrows so many tactics from the casino industry - as addictive as well.

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Rigas

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Isn't this just an addictive personality disorder? not necessarily for games. People with disorders like that can grasp onto anything, not just games. It might be collecting thimbles, knitting, drinking, weightlifting, any activity you can name.

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tissot

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#15  Edited By tissot

I don't personally think there's anything wrong to single out gaming there similar to example gambling disorder.

Gaming had really strong spell on me for 4 years with WoW and it was really close to change the direction of my life in a crucial time. Thankfully I got out of it. But that's nothing compared to many other examples from Korea, Japan or in the West. Be it Europe or North America.

Imo it is a bit more complex than just addictive personality. Just like gambling disorder or alcohol use disorder can be complex ranging from anything between genetics to psychological causes, but you still need a name for the symptom.

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CurseTheseMetalHands

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Can I exploit it to collect disability, like an anxiety disorder or depression? If so, I'm in.

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flagranterror

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Can I exploit it to collect disability, like an anxiety disorder or depression? If so, I'm in.

Right? Video games at work needs to be a reasonable accommodation for my "condition."

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iKilledTheBeast

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If anything I suffer from the opposite. For the past few months I tend to get bored from games rather quickly, no matter how good those games seem to be.

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OurSin_360

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I guess its easy to dismiss because the term gaming is in there but it is akin to something like an eating disorder and absolutely exists.

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Vexa

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#20  Edited By Vexa
@teddie said:

Sounds more like a symptom that a cause. Are they gonna make the same distinction for people who watch too much TV, browse the internet all day, or spend too much time trying to invent new disorders?

Yeah you can be pretty much be addicted to anything from gaming to i don't know... auto erotic asphyxiation. but i wouldn't makeup a disorder for everything. being classified as a disorder really is calling it a harmfull addiction or widepread. as much as i love gaming i could really be spending my time better on something else.

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BladeOfCreation

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Gambling disorder is recognized by the American Psychiatric Association, so there is definitely precedent for a health organization to recognize distinct addictive behaviors separate from drug and alcohol addictions.

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BladeOfCreation

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@icyeyes: I don't know how it is in other countries, but in the US we have nothing to worry about! The government here doesn't give a shit about mental health.

Also, WHO is a United Nations org, and their effectiveness and ability to enforce policies in general isn't really something that causes me a lot of worry here.

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garyhass

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@bladeofcreation: Except after a mass shooting. One worse than usual I mean. For like 2 days.

I think it's probably worse than some hobbies, I've never heard of someone going on a 20-hour movie watching binge. It kind of makes sense, since game developers have long focused on implementing forming habits and addictions in players in order to get them to continue playing, and encouraging them to purchase micro-transactions or DLC. I don't think there's anything wrong with considering it an addiction, you can still enjoy something and recognize the risks. I can buy something at McDonald's and still recognize the risks of overeating there.

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Mindkiller

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#24  Edited By Mindkiller

Gaming is a bigger productivity killer than any other hobby I have. When watching a film or TV you don't get hooked on the dopamine feedback loop that you get into when making progress in a game. The lure of games is that you can always get stronger and better and more adept the longer you sit in it which isn't a fact of TV or movies or even real-life for that matter.

So yea I think it's a danger. There's worse addictions for sure but I still reckon gaming can be bad in excess.

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Captain_Insano

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This does make sense as a condition, like any extreme addiction. In Australia we have a hell of a lot of Poker machines (Pokies) and so there immense numbers of people who are addicted to gambling. I know people who have dealt with this addiction and its effects are pretty life destroying, particularly because of the money involved. I can totally understand regular video games having a similar impact on people who literally can't drag themselves away from the game (I'm thinking Korean PC bang people starving to death style of disorder). That being said, a lot of people are mobile phone and social media addicted to the point where they can't NOT look at their phones despite doing everyday activities like walking, or worse, driving.

I am not addicted to video games and have never been. At the moment I play games fairly sparingly and regular life usually interrupts me. I suppose it was more important to me when I was younger, where I'd put in pretty long gaming sessions and maybe pass up some things so I could play games, but never to the point where I like, wouldn't actually live my life.

The issue with things like this is mainstream media using it as a platforms to argue: "SEE, VIDEO GAMES DESTROY LIVES" and to de-legitimise video games as a medium, when there are much larger issues that exist in everyday life.

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garyhass

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That makes me wonder what the difference is between being addicted to something and wasting way too much time on it.

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IcyEyes

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#27  Edited By IcyEyes

@garyhass From what I understand, an addiction/disorder is best defined as any habit/behavior that is so intense it creates a negative effect on other aspects of your life. So for example, you could play games 12 hours a day and it wouldn't necessarily be considered an addiction if it didn't actually have any negative side effects and could be easily modified when required. But someone playing just 4 hours a day could be consider to have a problem if that actually caused them to neglect other important life responsibilities that had a huge impact on their well being. So it's really a matter of self-control and the impact this has on other aspects of your life, rather than just time spent doing the activity.

This idea seems to agree with their diagnoses of the disorder as:

“is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning,”

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Marcsman

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Oh thank goodness, now I can ignore my alcoholism.

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Mysterysheep

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As many others have said this seems more like a symptomatic behaviour than a specific illness. Anyone here a bit more familiar with WHO and can fill me in on what this classification ultimately means? Does this result in funding research into game addiction and developing specialized therapies to help people suffering from it?

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notnert427

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Man, I love and will usually defend gaming, but fucking hell. Accountability is dead.

New life plan: Stop working and play video games all day; then claim I just can't help myself and demand that a government program to pay all my bills because I have a "disorder". Sadly, it might legitimately be a better plan than working hard and saving a bunch of my own money that ultimately gets appropriated for bullshit like this.

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Dixavd

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The World Health Organisation's International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems* is purely a cataloguing tool: it's entire purpose being to allow medical professionals to easily cite definitions and share data and services about patients. The whole point is that the list is inclusive of even the most unlikely (or usually benign) issues: it is meant to be incredibly specific. It isn't meant to define severity or even vilify every item as always having a negative effect on one's life.

You can search through the current ICD-10 list here, here are some examples from the same chapter to illustrate how clearly it's up to a doctor and the distress of the patient (and/or friends and family) to define something as harmful in their experience.

  • F98.8 Other specified behavioural and emotional disorders with onset usually occurring in childhood and adolescence - Including: Nose-Picking
  • F65.0 Fetishism
  • F98.5 Stuttering [stammering]

The document doesn't stop at classifying illnesses either, it also classifies the cause of issues as well as the reasons for a patient to seek help. Here are some examples:

  • W23 Caught, crushed, jammed or pinched in or between objects - e.g.: Caught between stationary objects - door-frame
  • Y28 Contact with sharp object, undetermined intent
  • Z59.6 Low Income
  • Z60.2 Living Alone

*Though this additional part is often omitted when discussing the text.

TL;DR:The ICD is meant to be incredibly specific so I'm honestly surprised that some version of interactions with Games wasn't included until now. This is fine: this will only help medical professionals with paperwork.

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bmccann42

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Well I was diagnosed in August as being on the Autism Spectrum, so it wouldn't shock me if I had this too (though I don't actually game as much as I used to).

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habster3

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I tend to binge whenever I do play games (The Witcher 3 and Morrowind come to mind as particularly big time wasters), but even then I don't really game that much. So no, most likely.

Overall, I don't have strong feelings regarding this proposal. Some people definitely exhibit symptoms of crippling video game addiction, but even then I wonder if other underlying disorders might be the cause rather than part of a comorbidity.

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sombre

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I didn't think game "Obssession" was a thing until I worked in a school.

I routinely see my students (Who are only 9-11 years old) come into school and are almost asleep at their desks cause they were up till 12 on Fornite/Roblox

The big thing is Zeitgeist-ism and FOMO

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SarcasticMudcrab

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#37  Edited By SarcasticMudcrab

Ironically in 2020 video games are keeping people more mentally well than they would be without them!

Its all a bit silly though this disorder thing, I mean is watching tv going to be a disorder as well? That's what a lot of people do that don't play games.

Anything can be a disorder if you try hard enough.

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Retris

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@sarcasticmudcrab: Television addiction does exist, yes.

The thing is, you can pretty much get addicted to anything, the human mind is a weird thing like that. It's just broken coping mechanism and feedback loops.

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Shindig

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Twitch might exacerbate it now. Having to game because there's money in it and then, 10 years down the line, it's all that's left.

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Humanity

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More often than not I feel like I have the opposite of that where I want to play games but I just can't seem to muster up the effort to actually turn on the console on and end up wasting the evening on YouTube or something.

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sombre

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#41  Edited By sombre

Oh also, I failed my first year at University cause of World of Warcraft

It certainly exists

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RimTiggins

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#42  Edited By RimTiggins

@humanity: Yeah this is me as well. Also applies to films and TV shows to a lesser extent.

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J_Stonyy

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This is no different than sitting there for 8 hours binging a show or watching sports games all day. Plus WHO is garbage.