World Health Organization to declare ‘gaming disorder’ a mental health condition

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NORTH TEXAS -- Parents, you may now have a reason to wrap up the controllers and stow away the video games for a while.

The World Health Organization has said it will officially be declaring "gaming disorder" as a mental health condition. They are listing it under the International Classification of Diseases, otherwise known as ICD.

"Gaming disorder" is classified by 3 characteristics:

  • impaired control
  • increased priority to gaming
  • continued gaming despite negative consequences

The announcement is not surprising since just a few days ago a 9-year-old had to be placed in rehab for an addiction to the game, "Fortnite."

Clinical experts say it's vital to human health that we have human interaction.

"We are social animals and we actually need to be physically present with one another face-to-face where we can see and hear and touch and smell each other," Hilarie Cash, reStart Clinical Officer, said.

But some psychologists, like Dr. Anthony Bean, don't believe the disorder should be included.

Bean is a Fort Worth based doctor and director at a mental health clinic called Telos Project who specializes in video game psychology.

He says this decision seems a bit premature simply because some people who seem to be addicted are actually using games as a way to cope with anxiety or depression.

Bean believes that when the anxiety or depression is dealt with, the gaming will often decrease.

As of now the organization's plan is still in motion, so those who are in constant need of a "digital fix" may want think twice.

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