• 'Gaming disorder:' Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health

    From The Zero Generation@21:1/5 to All on Tue Jun 19 01:27:26 2018
    XPost: sac.politics, alt.society.liberalism, alt.society.mental-health
    XPost: alt.psychology

    GENEVA — Obsessive video gamers know how to anticipate dangers
    in virtual worlds but now The World Health Organization says
    they now should be on guard for a danger in the real world:
    spending too much time playing.

    In its latest revision to a disease classification manual, the
    U.N. health agency said Monday that compulsively playing video
    games now qualifies as a mental health condition. The statement
    confirmed the fears of some parents but led critics to warn that
    it may risk stigmatizing too many young video players.

    WHO said classifying “gaming disorder” as a separate addiction
    will help governments, families and health care workers be more
    vigilant and prepared to identify the risks. The agency and
    other experts were quick to note that cases of the condition are
    still very rare, with no more than up to 3 percent of all gamers
    believed to be affected.

    Dr. Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO’s department for mental
    health and substance abuse, said the agency accepted the
    proposal that gaming disorder should be listed as a new problem
    based on scientific evidence, in addition to “the need and the
    demand for treatment in many parts of the world.”

    Dr. Joan Harvey, a spokeswoman for the British Psychological
    Society, warned that the new designation might 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,” she said.

    Others welcomed WHO’s new classification, saying it was critical
    to identify people hooked on video games quickly because they
    are usually teenagers or young adults who don’t seek help

    “We come across parents who are distraught, not only because
    they’re seeing their child drop out of school, but because
    they’re seeing an entire family structure fall apart,” said Dr.
    Henrietta Bowden-Jones, a spokeswoman for behavioral addictions
    at Britain’s Royal College of Psychiatrists. She was not
    connected to WHO’s decision.

    Bowden-Jones said gaming addictions were usually best treated
    with psychological therapies but that some medicines might also

    The American Psychiatric Association has not yet deemed gaming
    disorder to be a new mental health problem. In a 2013 statement,
    the association said it’s “a condition warranting more clinical
    research and experience before it might be considered for
    inclusion” in its own diagnostic manual.

    The group noted that much of the scientific literature about
    compulsive gamers is based on evidence from young men in Asia.

    “The studies suggest that when these individuals are engrossed
    in Internet games, certain pathways in their brains are
    triggered in the same direct and intense way that a drug
    addict’s brain is affected by a particular substance,” the
    association said in that statement. “The gaming prompts a
    neurological response that influences feelings of pleasure and
    reward, and the result, in the extreme, is manifested as
    addictive behavior.”

    Dr. Mark Griffiths, who has been researching the concept of
    video gaming disorder for 30 years, said the new classification
    would help legitimize the problem and strengthen treatment

    “Video gaming is like a non-financial kind of gambling from a
    psychological point of view,” said Griffiths, a distinguished
    professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent
    University. “Gamblers use money as a way of keeping score
    whereas gamers use points.”

    He guessed that the percentage of video game players with a
    compulsive problem was likely to be extremely small — much less
    than 1 percent — and that many such people would likely have
    other underlying problems, like depression, bipolar disorder or

    WHO’s Saxena, however, estimated that 2 to 3 percent of gamers
    might be affected.

    Griffiths said playing video games, for the vast majority of
    people, is more about entertainment and novelty, citing the
    overwhelming popularity of games like “Pokemon Go.”

    “You have these short, obsessive bursts and yes, people are
    playing a lot, but it’s not an addiction,” he said.

    Saxena said parents and friends of video game enthusiasts should
    still be mindful of a potentially harmful problem.

    “Be on the lookout,” he said, noting that concerns should be
    raised if the gaming habit appears to be taking over.

    “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,” he said.

    https://kdvr.com/2018/06/18/compulsive-video-game-playing-could- be-mental-health-problem/

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