Gaming Disorder – WHO’s the Loser?

The 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) is scheduled to be released in June, 2018.

The ICD, published by the World Health Organization (WHO), is the international standard diagnostic tool for epidemiology, health management, and clinical purposes. It is used for the identification of health trends and statistics and for reporting diseases and health conditions by its 194 member countries, although in the U.S. the DSM is used for mental health conditions. Think of WHO as Big Brother for Universal Health Care. With offices in over 150 countries, it is very big business.

The first version of the ICD was published in 1893. WHO took over publishing the ICD when it was formed in 1948. ICD-10 was adopted in 1990. The revision process for ICD-11 was begun in 2007 and has been working in earnest since 2015.

The Beta Draft of ICD-11 contains a new classification which we thought might be of interest to our CCHR STL supporters.

6D11 Gaming disorder
Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour (‘digital gaming’ or ‘video-gaming’), which may be online (i.e., over the Internet) or offline, manifested by:
1) impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context);
2) increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities; and
3) continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning. The pattern of gaming behaviour may be continuous or episodic and recurrent. The gaming behaviour and other features are normally evident over a period of at least 12 months in order for a diagnosis to be assigned, although the required duration may be shortened if all diagnostic requirements are met and symptoms are severe.

6D11 has three subdivisions:
6D11.0 Gaming disorder, predominantly online
6D11.1 Gaming disorder, predominantly offline
6D11.Z Gaming disorder, unspecified

Wait, there’s more.

QF02 Hazardous gaming
Hazardous gaming refers to a pattern of gaming, either online or offline that appreciably increases the risk of harmful physical or mental health consequences to the individual or to others around this individual. The increased risk may be from the frequency of gaming, from the amount of time spent on these activities, from the neglect of other activities and priorities, from risky behaviours associated with gaming or its context, from the adverse consequences of gaming, or from the combination of these. The pattern of gaming often persists in spite of awareness of increased risk of harm to the individual or to others.

Basically, ICD claims that Gaming Disorder is an addictive behavior, and any form of addiction is a mental disorder. Other forms of addiction categorized by ICD are substance abuse, gambling, and other impulse control issues such as pyromania, kleptomania and promiscuity.

Infiltration into the gaming world on behalf of psychiatrists is not totally recent. They have been personally entering the online realm of WoW (World of Warcraft) for some time now, to supposedly deliver therapeutic services inside the game.

The DSM already has Gambling Disorder, more Substance Abuse disorders than you can shake a bong at, pyromania, kleptomania, and more sexual disorders than you can shake — well, you get the idea.

So what are these various behaviors if they are not mental illnesses? They’re called lapses in ethics and morals, and when treated as such there is hope that they can be corrected. Unfortunately, calling them “mental illness” and treating them with psychotropic drugs precludes any possibility of finding out the true root causes and effectively addressing those.

We think the whole thing comes back to what Professor Thomas Szasz originally had to say about this:
• “The term ‘mental illness’ refers to the undesirable thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of persons. Classifying thoughts, feelings, and behaviors as diseases is a logical and semantic error, like classifying the whale as a fish.”
• “If we recognize that ‘mental illness’ is a metaphor for disapproved thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, we are compelled to recognize as well that the primary function of Psychiatry is to control thought, mood, and behavior.”

These so-called mental disorders are just what psychiatry and psychiatrists have inappropriately labeled as “undesirable behavior.” So, WHO is the Loser in this game? It’s you, if you buy psychiatry’s pronouncement of “mental disorder.”

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