'Gaming Disorder' to make list of mental health conditions, says WHO

"Gaming disorder" will be listed as a mental health condition by the World Health Organization in 2018. (Image: WBMA)

Whether it's an Atari or the latest Xbox One X, most have probably been gamers at some point in life.

Now, doctors believe too much video-gaming is a cause for concern.

Frequently playing video games could lead to an addiction, doctors say.

For many millennials, playing video games didn't stop at childhood.

"It's always kind of been a part [of life]," an anonymous 28-year-old said. "You have [Nintendo 64s] in college dorm rooms; that's kind of the social thing to do."

But for some, the drive to level up can have unhealthy consequences in real life.

Those individuals may be suffering from "gaming disorder," a mental health condition to be recognized by the World Health Organization in 2018.

A Birmingham area psychiatrist says until now, mental health professionals have been treating excessive gaming under obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).

The World Health Organization says those suffering from gaming disorder may exhibit these symptoms:

  • Losing control, or not knowing when, how, when not, and how not to apply gaming in his/her life
  • Choosing a digital escape over personal, family, and social obligations
  • Putting gaming above his/her best interests

The man ABC 33/40 interviewed says he won't let gaming overtake his life.

"It's a distraction if you let it be a distraction," he explained. "I think everybody — no matter what you do for a living — needs to tune out from time to time."

Experts say parents should have their children evaluated by mental health professionals if they believe gaming is encompassing too much of their time.

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