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Dr. Julio Licinio’s Take On Who’s Controversial Decision To Declare Video Game Addiction As Mental Disorder

June 7, 2019 by Julio Licinio  

People are engrossed by the video game more often nowadays, but for some people, it has become an addiction. In a recently published official diagnostic manual of the World Health Organization or WHO, they formally distinguish the ‘gaming disorder’ and mark it as the mental health condition. They have already added this condition to the International Classification of Diseases or popularly known as ICD – 11. 

Renowned psychiatrist and the senior vice president of Academic and Health Affairs; Dr. Julio Licinio has welcomed this decision of WHO and penned down his opinion on his journal Springer Nature. 

However, before going to the discussion of Julio Licinio, let’s have a look at the disorder. Playing video game is quite common and when you are playing it for a long time is not even call it a disorder. However, the case goes serious when this obsession of gaming interfaces the daily life of the people. As per WHO, "pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior" is called the gaming disorder where people don’t have control over their activities and interests. They don’t have the ability to restrain themselves from giving even though negative consequences are common for this habit. There are many incidents when people continue to play a video game and neglect the family relationship, professional responsibilities and social life. 

Dr. Julio Licinio asked the parents and other family members to check out for the symptoms which have to be persistent at least for a year. He also had a discussion with the American Psychiatric Association or APA who did not approve the mobile game addiction as a mental disorder according to the recent edition of the Diagnostic And Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. He said that APA does not approve this initiative as they said that there is not much evidence to declare the gaming disorder as the mental health condition. They said that more research needs to support this claim of WHO. The video game industry is also not pleased with the decision and has opposed it.

However, Dr. Julio Licinio said that this decision is the requirement of time. He said; “It will help the people who come for treatment to get the coverage of insurance.”