WHO Classifies Video Game Addiction as A Mental Health Issue

Video game addiction

WHO Classifies Video Game Addiction as A Mental Health Issue

Do you think your loved one is developing an increased dependence on video games? It is time that you recognize that it is more than just a dependence. The WHO has classified video game addiction as a mental health issue in its 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) that was released in mid-2018. The ICD is the basis to identify health conditions, trends, and statistics globally by the medical practitioners and categorize them under different categories.

The Geneva-headquartered organization describes the recently included mental health disorder as a frequent playing of video games that leads to an “impaired control over gaming” and an “increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities,” despite “the occurrence of negative consequences.”

To be diagnosed with the gaming disorder, it is important that the person must have displayed its symptoms for at least one year. Moreover, since there were no specific guidelines till the release of the ICD-11 related to the condition, it was difficult to provide any proper treatment to the person dealing with the gaming addiction. But, now as the guidelines are clear, it has become much easier to identify the condition and plan a suitable treatment for the concerned individual.

Gaming Addiction Show Similarity with Substance Abuse

The fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V) that was published in May 2013 categorized obsession with video games as Internet Gaming Disorder under Section III. However, the further examination and research of the condition supported its inclusion in the ICD-III. Moreover, the condition has also been said to be similar to the substance use disorder.


According to one of the studies conducted by the National Library of Medicine, gaming addiction leads to uncontrollable urges to play online games just like substance abuse that leads to inability to control use of illicit substances. This, in turn, leads to negative effects on an individual’s academic, social, occupational, developmental, and behavioral performance. Another study conducted by the National Library of Medicine revealed that people addicted to video games have intense cravings and over-engagement in playing games despite having negative effects on their health like those dealing with alcohol abuse disorder.

Recovery is Possible

It is possible to overcome addiction to video games by following a few simple tips. Some of these include setting a time limit for playing the games and adhering to the same, keeping gadgets outside bedroom to avoid nighttime indulgence in gaming, indulging in other healthy activities like exercising so that you do not get time to sit excessively and play games.

It is also important to make sure that you keep yourself and your loved ones updated with the health risks associated with playing video gaming excessively. Make sure that if there is someone who has already developed addiction to video games and needs help from an expert, advise them to seek help immediately. Delaying the process would only worsen their condition and recovery from the illness.

Athena Foundation is backed by a team of experts who can guide you and the concerned individual with the right tips to overcome their addiction. They can also advice you about the suitable courses available to understand the human psychology and how to help one get rid of their addiction based on their condition. If you would like to know the complete details about the courses available across the country and abroad, call us today at our 24/7 helpline number +91 9599093700 or drop us an email at And our experts will contact you shortly with the required details.

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