Video game addiction and work burnout ruled official illnesses

Henrietta Brewer
May 30, 2019

The WHO voted to recognise voted unanimously to recognise the condition at their World Health Assembly in Geneva.

According to the WHO, burnout is not a medical condition or illness, but it is a "factor influencing health status or contact with health services"-which means that people might reach out to doctors or other health professionals because of issues relating to it. Burnout is defined in the ICD-11 as "a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed".

The definition says gaming disorder is characterized by a 'pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior ("digital gaming" or "video-gaming"), which may be online (i.e., over the internet) or offline'.


There are several people who are addicted to Fornite, PUBG, GTA, and similar other games.

More importantly, those with gaming disorder give increasing priority to video games 'over other life interests and daily activities, as well as a 'continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurence of negative consequences'.

For the diagnosis to take place the pattern of behaviour must be evident for at least 12 months while also significantly impacting upon one's personal life, education or career. A statement signed by trade bodies from the UK, Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, South Africa, and Brazil this week called on the World Health Organization to "rethink" the classification. "Gaming disorder" is not based on sufficiently robust evidence to justify its inclusion in one of the WHO's most important norm-setting tools." the statement reads.


Playing video games for hours is not always a disorder and could be just a hobby also.

According to a report published by World Health Organization in September 2018, the disease is characterized by "impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences".

According to global news agency AFP, transgenderism has been removed from the list of mental disorders, but remains listed under the chapter on "conditions related to sexual health".


Gaming and depression may be interlinked in a way and therefore it is hard to distinguish them.

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