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The World Health Organization recognizes gambling addiction



Posted: Jun. 29, 2018 9:55 am

QUINCY – The World Health Organization (WHO) has recently recognized a compulsive gambling of video games as a mental illness.

Chess Johnson, administrative coordinator for behavioral health systems at Blessing Hospital, has noted an increase in childhood due to increasing dependence on electronics.

"Our kids are so involved in electronics today," Johnson said. "The electronic world is sucking children in. It will not go away."

The WHO said that classifying "play disorders" as a separate dependency would help governments, families and healthcare workers to be more alert and willing to recognize the risks. The acknowledgment confirmed the fears of some parents, but led critics to warn that too many young video gamers could be stigmatized.

Dr. Joan Harvey, a spokeswoman for the British Psychological Society, warned that the new name could cause unnecessary concern for parents.

"People need to understand that this does not mean that every kid who plays hours in his room plays" games is an addict, otherwise, medics will be flooded with requests for help, "Harvey said.

There are advantages to playing video games, especially in terms of coordination and socialization. Some people develop real friendships through games.

Johnson said only 1

in 10 people have the potential to develop gambling addiction.

"Not everyone who goes online becomes addicted," he said. "This is a much smaller number, and it's people who are already vulnerable to addiction."

According to U.S. Pat. National Library of Medicine is a game disorder that is described as an impulse control disorder characterized by an occupation with games; the ability of games to change a person's mood; Withdrawal symptoms that can be emotional or physical after the game is over; the development of interpersonal conflicts due to games; and the development of tolerance. Johnson described tolerance as progress in the difficulty of the levels in the game.

The American Psychiatric Association has not considered the gambling disorder to be a new mental health problem. In a statement issued in 2013, the association said it "is a condition requiring more clinical research and experience before it could be considered for inclusion" in its own diagnostic manual.

Johnson believes that the condition will be included in the DSM as soon as more research is done.

Dr. Mark Griffiths, who has been researching the concept of video game disruption for 30 years, said the new classification would help legitimize the problem and strengthen treatment strategies.

"From a psychological point of view, video games are like a non-financial type of gambling," said Griffiths, a respected professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University in England. "Players use money to earn points while players use points."

Gambling addiction is not restricted to children. Johnson said that adults who are most at risk of developing a gambling disorder are those who live alone, have recently divorced or divorced, lost their jobs, and perhaps are quiet and withdrawn.

"The whole thing has grown so fast, we do not have many specialists in gaming," he said. "As with anything, if you choose a pro, you have to shop."

Gaming disorders are generally treated in a similar way to drug and alcohol dependence by counselors and therapists. The online self-help group On-Line Gamers Anonymous, olganon.org, is another resource.

The Associated Press? Contributed to this story.


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