World Health Organization drops transgender from its mental disorders list

Faith Castro
June 20, 2018

The WHO has included gaming disorder as a possible addictive behaviour in the latest International Classification of Diseases manual, a draft expected to be approved within a year.

Director of WHO's Department for Mental Health and Substance Abuse, Shekhar Saxena, describes some of the warning signs of addictive Gaming behavior.

That doesn't surprise Daniel Kaufmann, a professor at Grand Canyon University who has done research on video game addiction and has offered treatment for it.

Take a peek at ICD-11's entry on "gambling disorder" and you'll find nearly identical language; In other words, video game addiction has become so notable that it's worth including in a global medical reference document, as the World Health Organization stated in its introduction to ICD-11.

It also deems a player's continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences (i.e. lack of sleep) as a significant impairment.

Being transgender is no longer classified as a mental health disorder by the World Health Organisation.

Much like gambling addiction, gaming addiction has similar traits with people giving ever-more time to gaming and the pursuit of achievements and awards at the expense of other activities. Let's be honest, millions of Americans spend countless hours playing video games.

Are you addicted to games?

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Kaufmann said a video game addiction can start to form when a person "abandons a lot of different life areas that most of us would agree lead to higher levels of fulfillment and happiness".

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The document was developed over 10 years and now for the first time was fully published on the who website.

The International Classification of Diseases is an international standard diagnostic tool that lists and classifies recognized diseases and medical problems.

The ICD-11 isn't yet finished, though: The publication won't be endorsed as a final release until 2019, and won't be fully adopted until 2022.

Dr Bowden-Jones said gaming addictions were usually best treated with psychological therapies, but that some medicines might also work.

The decision to include gaming disorder in ICD-11, the latest edition of the disease classification manual, was based on reviews of available evidence, says World Health Organization, which claims the decision reflects a consensus of experts from different disciplines and geographical regions involved in the process of technical consultations undertaken by WHO.

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