Los Angeles Times

World Health Organization says video game addiction is a disease. Why American psychiatrists don't

The World Health Organization has made it official: digital games can be addictive, and those addicted to them need help.

In the latest edition of its International Classification of Diseases, released Monday, the United Nations agency concluded that people whose jobs, educations, family or social lives have been upended by video games probably meet the criteria for a new form of addiction called "gaming disorder."

If a person has escalated or persisted in his or her gaming behavior despite clearly negative consequences, that further seals the deal, the new guidelines say.

The behavior should be "of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment" and may be "continuous or episodic and recurrent," the WHO's diagnostic manual notes. While "normally evident over a period of at least 12 months," a diagnosis may be in order sooner in cases where impairment is

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times1 min read
LeBron James To Sit Out Lakers Game Against Warriors On Thursday
LOS ANGELES - LeBron James will not play in the Los Angeles Lakers' game against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night in San Francisco. The team listed James as out because of strained groin. Anthony Davis is listed as probable after injuring
Los Angeles Times2 min read
California Coronavirus Case Could Be First Spread Within US Community, CDC Says
LOS ANGELES - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is investigating what could be the first case of novel coronavirus in the United States involving a patient who neither recently traveled out of the country nor was in contact with someone
Los Angeles Times5 min read
Michael Hiltzik: Coronavirus Fears Stem From Globalism, Doubts About Government Competence
Viruses are known to be almost diabolically opportunistic - lethal but not too lethal, for example, to keep from killing their hosts so fast as to compromise their ability to be spread. One might almost think that the coronavirus now making its way a