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Excess gaming could soon be regarded as mental disorder: WHO

New Delhi: Addiction to online or offline games is now all set to be officially recognised as a mental disorder.
The World Health Organisation has given in-principle approval for declaring excess gaming in the category of mental disorder.
According to sources, the WHO would incorporate gaming disorder into the mental health conditions in the 11th Classification of International Diseases. To finalise the guidelines in this regard, roundtable consultations with major medical institutions and psychiatrists from across the world is already in the process.
"The WHO will release the detailed guidelines in May this year, and afterwards all the countries would have to create a policy to regulate gaming," the sources said, adding the WHO initiated the move after the incidents of suicides by children playing the Blue Whale game.
"The guidelines would determine whether the behaviour of a person addicted to gaming has reached a state of a serious health problem. So the 'patient' would be treated accordingly," the sources said.
Commenting on the move, Rajesh Sagar, a senior psychologist at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), said, "If any person is
addicted to gaming to a degree that it hurts his/her day-to-day routine life, it indicates an abnormality."
" In some cases, people skip their meals, studies or office work while playing online games. It is a kind of mental illness that is why WHO has decided to include it in the classification of mental diseases," Sagar said.
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