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The updated ICD is scheduled to be presented to WHO member states at their annual World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption in January 2022, WHO said in a statement.

As per the latest version which is to release (ICD 11), gaming addiction has been deemed a mental health disorder based on a few select characteristics.

Others welcomed WHO's new classification, saying it was critical to identify video game addicts quickly because they are usually teenagers or young adults who don't seek help themselves.

Separately, the WHO listed "hazardous gaming", which is when a pattern of gaming "appreciably increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences to this individual or others around this individual".

In recent times, a number of games are free to download, which undoubtedly contributes to the gaming culture.

"When gaming interferes with eating, sleeping, work and other functions, it becomes a disease", said, Dr Shekhar Saxena, director, department for mental health and substance abuse, WHO, told TOI.

Doctors won't necessarily start diagnosing using these definitions right away.

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'Video gaming is like a non-financial kind of gambling from a psychological point of view, ' said Dr Griffiths, a professor of behavioural addiction at Nottingham Trent University.

For instance, some people working on stroke have always been pushing for it to be moved from circulatory diseases, where it has been for 6 decades, into neurological disease, where it now sits in ICD-11.

World Health Organization said the ICD team received more than 10,000 proposed revisions for the newest edition of the document.

The first one is when gaming behavior takes precedence over other activities.

However, Vladimir Poznyak of the WHO's Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse told New Scientist past year, when the agency first revealed its decision to include gaming disorder in its diagnostic manual, that the move was supported by sufficient evidence. The WHO warned that those suffering from "gaming disorder" can suffer impacts to their family, social, educational, and occupational lives.

World Health Organization accepted the proposal that Gaming Disorder should be listed as a new issue based on scientific evidence. And in South Korea, at least two children have starved to death, likely because their caretaking parents were busy playing video games. It has been included for the first time alongside another addictive disorder: Hoarding.


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