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VIDEOGAME DEPENDENCE: as of today it is officially a disease

Videogiochi

How many of you in the past have found yourself spending entire afternoons in front of a screen and holding a controller? Certainly more than you can imagine. Video games, since their first appearance, have always kept the young (and not so young) company during boring winter afternoons when it was too cold to go out or conversely during torrid summer days. Often, however, this simple pastime, game and many times passion, exceeds the recommended limits and risks becoming a full-blown obsession, like a new pathology from which one must be treated and detoxified.

This is a phenomenon that has grown tremendously over the past 10 years, facilitated in part by the continuing evolution of video game consoles that offer increasingly exciting and compelling content that is often really hard to resist. For these reasons, there are numerous cases of individuals (not exclusively of adolescent age) who have developed a real addiction to video games, just as happens with alcohol and drugs. These are individuals who need medical treatment and to embark on a detoxification program in order to free themselves (with the help of experts) from this obsession.

The WHO decision

From this premise, it is easy to deduce what motivations prompted the World Health Organization to make the decision to include video game addiction in the next revision of the International Classification of Diseases, the “official list” of diseases, due mid-year. This is important news, communicated by WHO itself through a post on its official website. According to the Organization, “Gaming disorder encapsulates a range of behaviors characterized by a lack of control over gaming, the precedence given to gaming over other daily activities and interests, and the escalation of the problem despite the occurrence of negative consequences.”

The announcement also states the conditions under which one can claim to have “gaming disorder“, namely, “To reach diagnosis, the behavioral problem must involve significant impairment of personal, family, social and occupational functions for at least 12 months.” With the official recognition of this condition, new treatments for its treatment will be implemented worldwide. But in addition to post-diagnosis treatment, a significant prevention and information campaign regarding this new (albeit old) disease will also be implemented, the main target audience of which will be adolescents, usually the group most affected by this disorder.

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