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You might recall our previous report in late 2017 about the World Health Organization adding gaming addiction in the draft for the revised International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

The WHO's International Classification of Diseases (ICD), a reference bible of recognised and diagnosable diseases, describes addiction to digital and video gaming as "a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour" that becomes so extensive it "takes precedence over other life interests".

WHO has said that gaming disorder is a serious health condition that requires monitoring.

One of the biggest changes moves all of its transgender-specific categories into a new section on sexual health conditions, removing them as a mental disorder.

"Disorders due to addictive behaviours are recognizable and clinically significant syndromes associated with distress or interference with personal functions that develop as a result of repetitive rewarding behaviours other than the use of dependence-producing substances", writes the WHO.

In its latest revision to a disease classification manual called the International Classification of Diseases, or I.C.D., the United Nations health agency explains the change and why it has (finally) removed the transgender mental disorder classification.

Hazardous gaming refers to a pattern of gaming, either online or offline that appreciably increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences to the individual or to others around this individual.

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Since previous year, the World Health Organisation has tried to pin down video gaming that has a net negative impact on life as a disorder - but it was originally a bit wishy-washy in what it classed as a disorder.

'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.

The statement continued: "The evidence for its inclusion remains highly contested and inconclusive". The video game industry is also a financial powerhouse, releasing popular new multiplayer games like Fortnite and drawing millions of players each month.

Robert Jakob, MD, WHO's team lead, Classifications, Terminologies and Standards, said that the organization is developing an implementation package to make the eventual transition from the old system to the new system easier.

The new ICD-11 will be presented at the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by member states, and will come into effect on January 1, 2022.

"The people with gender identity disorder should be not categorized as a mental disorder because in many cases, in many countries it can be stigmatizing, and it can actually decrease their chances of seeking help because of legal provisions in many countries", said Saxena. The latest edition also has a new chapter on traditional medicine.


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