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Midweek Mindset

Video game addiction classified as a mental health problem

June 20, 2018

By: Gem Sofianos

Video game addiction

Video game addiction classified as a mental health problem

This week the World Health Organisation has classified video game addiction as a mental health condition.

According to the Evening Standard the published guidelines describe the disorder as ‘a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour that takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities.’

In order for a person to be diagnosed with the disorder they must exhibit a pattern of behaviour that must be of ‘sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning’ for more than a year.

Dr Shekhar Saxena, director of WHO’s department for mental health, said WHO 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,’ ITV News reports.

The classification means that people who cannot stop playing video games will now be able to access treatment on the NHS.

The news was welcomed by mental health professionals, including Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones who said: ‘Today’s recognition of gaming addiction as an illness will be an enormous relief to the parents of sufferers.

‘Up until now, the lack of recognition of the disorder has meant treatment has not been properly in place. The NHS now has an opportunity to change this.

‘While there are relatively low rates of gaming disorder in the UK, symptoms can be severe.’

Problems with excessive gaming have been highlighted in recent weeks, after a 9-year-old girl entered rehab for her addiction to video gaming after her family discovered she had wet herself rather than stop playing the game to go to the toilet.

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UKCP urge NICE not to publish its draft Guideline for Depression in Adults

UKCP are urging NICE not to publish its draft Guideline for Depression in Adults, following an unprecedented second consultation.

Working alongside BACP, BPC, RCPsych and MIND, as well as other experts, UKCP argue that NICE have used a flawed scientific model in developing this Guideline, which could lead to potential life-saving patient choice being stripped from millions of people who experience depression in the UK.

‘We urge NICE not to publish this guideline, because it fails to meet the high scientific standards essential for ensuring public safety,’ UKCP Chief Executive Prof Sarah Niblock said.

‘With a least a quarter of the UK adult population suffering depression at any given moment, we must get this right or face a worsening of a crisis situation.’

‘We, along with similar expert bodies, note significant flaws in the science behind this draft, and ask that NICE’s executive postpone publication until a proper revision can be undertaken,’ Niblock added.

‘Any guideline on such an urgent and important issue affecting millions of individuals, as well as their loved ones and colleagues, must meet the high scientific standard expected of NICE, which is otherwise seen as a world leader in guideline development.’

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 In case you missed it… 

Dads pose naked to raise awareness of fathers’ mental health – The Dad Network has launched a campaign to raise awareness of father’s mental health and tackle stigma surrounding men’s mental health.

‘7 ways weightlifting can be good for mental wellbeing’ – Find out why and how weightlifting can be good for your mental health.

Video game addiction

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