World Health Organization adds Gaming Disorder to list of mental disorders

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The World Health Organization is addressing the over-indulgence of playing video games by adding "Gaming Disorder" to the official list of mental disorders in 2018.

Its symptoms include the inability to control when and how to play video games. Those in the community say playing video games for extended periods of time can be terrible for personal health.

"People will stay on them instead of being active with family and friends. Instead, they'll be alone at home on those games and stay on them for hours at end and that can be very unhealthy," says Matthew Anderson.

A red flag is when someone chooses games over other interests in life and continues playing despite negative consequences. The decision does not mean that playing games in itself are a problem, but the key factor is timing and overindulging. Some people say calling it a disorder isn't the right way to approach it.

"I think it can be an addiction especially with online currency these days and the game length behind it, but I don't think it's a disease," says Evan, who is an avid gamer.

Many say they can see why it's listed because they know it can lead to many health problems for gamers.

"You know you start not to be active. Your immune system starts going down, you get diabetes, your blood pressure problems just from not sitting and not doing nothing for a long time. You obviously get overweight."

Experts say it should all be seen in the context of where, why and how much someone plays. Adding gaming disorder to the list of mental disorders means that it will be recognized by doctors and insurance companies.

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