‘Gaming Disorder’ Now Added to List of Mental Health Conditions
With games like Pokémon GO and most recently Fortnite becoming more and more popular by the day, there's a growing concern for video game addition becoming a real threat to today's teenagers.
First of all, I get it. I used to be a heavy gamer back in high school, and even college. I would buy a new game like Legend of Zelda, or the latest Final Fantasy RPG and I couldn't wait to get out of class so I could spend the next 2-3 sometimes 5+ hours getting lost in another world to fight monsters and go on amazing quests. But then I "grew up" and now I'm lucky to get one hour a MONTH to game. I'm not mad about it, I'd much rather play with my kid outside and watch her explore in the real world than get immersed in another fantasy game.
However, kids today have access to games way easier than I ever thought possible with most of them accessible on mobile phones, plus it's easy to see how they'd become so easily addicted to them because of all the advancements in technology and graphics.
So on Monday, the World Health Organization (WHO) added “gaming disorder” to a draft of its International Classification of Diseases (IDC), The New York Times reports.
"If (video games) are interfering with the expected functions of the person — whether it is studies, whether it's socialization, whether it's work — then you need to be cautious and perhaps seek help,": director of the World Health Organization said Monday.
In fact I just read last week about a 9-year-old girl who was so addicted to Fortnite, that she refused to go to the bathroom! One night, her parents saw his daughter's bedroom light on when she should have been in bed. They then found her sitting on a urine-soaked cushion playing the game. She was later sent to rehab.
Still, not all medical officials believe gaming disorder is a stand alone condition. Instead, they often see it as a side effect of depression or anxiety.
Whatever it may be, I hope parents see the signs of this sooner than later before it's gets really bad for their kids.