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Thread: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

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    World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    ICD 11 handbook adds gaming disorder alongside addictive gambling and hoarding.
    Read more.

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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    What utter tosh...!!

    I stopped having any faith in the WHO's opinion after their closed summit to tackle the health problems of smoking, that ended up being a discussion on how tobacco use was a 'useful source of generating tax revenue' and the best ways to apply such taxes...

    So with that in mind, here the WHO are now trying to crack on gaming...
    Checking out their criteria for this 'addiction' I can only assume that, since my early childhood, I also have similar 'addictions' to books, movies, music and porn... none of which they seem too concerned about.

    So why is gaming suddenly being pegged as the bad guy again?

    Anthony Bean can get stuffed, too - I get that he's trying to help and be all psychoanalytical, which is kinda his job, but he says gaming is "coping mechanism for either anxiety or depression".... The word is 'HOBBY', mate! Just like woodworking, or skateboarding, or stamp collecting.... It's what kids like to do instead of going out on the streets and getting into trouble with gangs and drugs and things.

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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    I think the issue is when the dopamine mediated reward circuit goes loopy and this is basically uncontrollable AND is causing problems. I noticed similar issues with drinking which acts on the same mechanism and put measures in place to mitigate the issue. The problem with stuff like this (including drugs which mostly hit exactly the same circuit again) comes from what we in the health profession call poo life syndrome. This is usually where the achievements in a person's life are so few and far between that they have to get their dopamine kick from another source. Some use drugs, some use games but the method of addiction on a neurophysiological level is the same. As pointed out above, there are bookworms, there are film buffs, there are audiophiles and there are chronic masturbators. It takes an extraordinary effort for any of these "hobbies" to move into the realm of an actual issue. Most of the time if we notice a hobby is taking over too much of our time and is causing issues with family, etc then we will exercise self control automatically based on the goals we set for ourself in life (not infuriating one's wife is a worthy goal which might be relevant here). We are goal orientated creatures and will weigh up which goals we want to pursue at any given time and which is going to give the greatest reward. It's when that reward circuit becomes its own little monster that you must feed and becomes your only source of reward that you have a real problem. But that in itself is usually a symptom of far deeper issues in life.

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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    What utter tosh...!!

    I stopped having any faith in the WHO's opinion after their closed summit to tackle the health problems of smoking, that ended up being a discussion on how tobacco use was a 'useful source of generating tax revenue' and the best ways to apply such taxes...

    So with that in mind, here the WHO are now trying to crack on gaming...
    Checking out their criteria for this 'addiction' I can only assume that, since my early childhood, I also have similar 'addictions' to books, movies, music and porn... none of which they seem too concerned about.

    So why is gaming suddenly being pegged as the bad guy again?

    Anthony Bean can get stuffed, too - I get that he's trying to help and be all psychoanalytical, which is kinda his job, but he says gaming is "coping mechanism for either anxiety or depression".... The word is 'HOBBY', mate! Just like woodworking, or skateboarding, or stamp collecting.... It's what kids like to do instead of going out on the streets and getting into trouble with gangs and drugs and things.
    It is when it becomes obsessive - and thats true of any other activity. The criteria is

    Impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context)
    Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities
    Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences
    In the same way you might have the occasional bet or glass of something alcoholic without being glassed as an addict, but when those activities become compulsive, it becomes an addiction.

    (Disclaimer - I am not a psychologist/psychoanalyst etc )
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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    So why is gaming suddenly being pegged as the bad guy again?
    Where is anyone doing that? As far as I can tell, they're not saying gaming is bad at all, only a disorder specifically. Gaming habit etc. is fine.

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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    but when those activities become compulsive, it becomes an addiction.
    But at the same time, an addiction is not a full-on disorder, particularly if it's a (relatively) healthy coping mechanism - Plenty of hoarders out there, for example, who lead otherwise perfectly fine lives. A few of them are even running the country.
    So long as the people using it do cope, it's not a disorder.

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    Where is anyone doing that? As far as I can tell, they're not saying gaming is bad at all, only a disorder specifically. Gaming habit etc. is fine.
    That it would be singled out and given its own spotlight as a "disease" (dis-ease: a particular quality or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people) is sufficient to say they're labelling it as bad.
    That medical professionals need to be 'alerted' to those who 'suffer' from it?

    Sorry, the whole thing reads like a sensationalist article from The Sun, or something, with only 'Hazardous Gaming' being anything close to an actual disorder.

    Realistcially anything can become an addictive disorder... which they should probably just generically classify as Addiction Disorder, separate from any other addictions that have defined and separate impacts on health such as those based on substance/chemical abuse (ie drugs and alcohol)

    I'm just wondering/questioning why gaming has to have its own separate addiction classification? Smacks of #MeToo syndrome...

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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    I think the issue is when the dopamine mediated reward circuit goes loopy and this is basically uncontrollable AND is causing problems. I noticed similar issues with drinking which acts on the same mechanism and put measures in place to mitigate the issue. The problem with stuff like this (including drugs which mostly hit exactly the same circuit again) comes from what we in the health profession call poo life syndrome. This is usually where the achievements in a person's life are so few and far between that they have to get their dopamine kick from another source. Some use drugs, some use games but the method of addiction on a neurophysiological level is the same. As pointed out above, there are bookworms, there are film buffs, there are audiophiles and there are chronic masturbators. It takes an extraordinary effort for any of these "hobbies" to move into the realm of an actual issue. Most of the time if we notice a hobby is taking over too much of our time and is causing issues with family, etc then we will exercise self control automatically based on the goals we set for ourself in life (not infuriating one's wife is a worthy goal which might be relevant here). We are goal orientated creatures and will weigh up which goals we want to pursue at any given time and which is going to give the greatest reward. It's when that reward circuit becomes its own little monster that you must feed and becomes your only source of reward that you have a real problem. But that in itself is usually a symptom of far deeper issues in life.
    Very good points. I have noticed a propensity among those who have addiction problems(I know it's being labelled as a disorder) to choose an addiction which initially seems to give some relief, but ultimately can destroy them. I think gaming is slightly different to other addictions, and I'm calling it that because I recognise how addictive it is.

    I think it may be down to being competitive, sometimes real life can be pretty dull and I imagine many adolescents in particular use it to escape their families, but sometimes it's just about needing the stimulation, and the dopamine release. I can't thrash a real V8 around the streets drifting around the corners, but with a bit suspension of disbelief, my mind gets the same buzz. I don't think this is an attack on gaming, just offering help, including NHS treatment to those who have lost control to their addiction(and it's very few), and will be offered help, just like any other addict.

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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    Quote Originally Posted by johnroe View Post
    I think gaming is slightly different to other addictions, and I'm calling it that because I recognise how addictive it is.
    I agree that it can be an addiction... but how is it different to any other, exactly?

    Quote Originally Posted by johnroe View Post
    I don't think this is an attack on gaming, just offering help, including NHS treatment to those who have lost control to their addiction
    Why would it need its own classification, then?

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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    I agree that it can be an addiction... but how is it different to any other, exactly?
    There are physical addictions (like nicotine, alcohol, heroin etc) that directly affect the bodies metabolism, and when those drugs are withdrawn, they cause physical symptoms. Gaming would not fall into that category.

    Then there are dependencies/addictions where the activity indirectly causes a change in the body's metabolism because the activity triggers the production of chemicals in the body. And I suppose there are the comforting or habitual dependencies - like the feeling (I'm told) of lighting a cigarette when having a drink - its a habit.
    And some addictions are a combination of both. I can fully understand why the feelings of euphoria that cocaine induces could be addictive in some individuals.


    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    Why would it need its own classification, then?
    Probably to justify some research grant, or because medics like categories!
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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Gaming would not fall into that category.
    That's my point, though - Neither would several dozen other addictions, none of which have their own category and pretty much all of which would be addressed with the exact same 'treatment' methods.

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Probably to justify some research grant, or because medics like categories!
    While I can appreciate that, there are so few actual cases of gaming addiction disorders and I imagine this will create a disproportionate level of over-reaction in the press around gaming...

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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    I'd put gaming addiction in the same category as gambling. I think the other addictive substances that are used to numb some sort of usually mental pain, but also to numb physical pain are chemically based.

    It also depends on who is doing the judging, what appears to be a problem to a parent(second two criteria), may not seem that way to a player. Gaming is also different because it's stimulating mental activity and chemical activity. Gaming is a great mental training exercise, and exciting. So actually it may be a successful replacement for those that need it, to those other more chemically based products. It's like all these things, about 'balance'.

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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    Quote Originally Posted by Ttaskmaster View Post
    That it would be singled out and given its own spotlight as a "disease" (dis-ease: a particular quality or disposition regarded as adversely affecting a person or group of people) is sufficient to say they're labelling it as bad.
    That medical professionals need to be 'alerted' to those who 'suffer' from it?
    But it's not. Gaming is still fine. It's only a specific disorder that is the problem. It's like saying gambling is not a disease, but gambling addiction is. Ditto alcohol, or sex.

    I get the point about having a general 'addiction disorder' - and perhaps that's not a bad idea, but from what little experience I have of the field, they are quite different disorders and require their own considerations and types of treatment.

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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    I was just thinking how they would they treat it, give them a real car to drive or a paint gun. I just had a look and they have treatment methods, (electroshock via usb), and

    'In-Patient Intervention Programs, Wilderness Therapy, One-to-one Counselling with a Psychologist or Mental Health Professional, Family Therapy',

    so I suppose that's pretty standard, but it might be they are adapting known methods on to a new problem, but it will be specific and modified as it becomes more understood. It's not news that families feel that their children are just connected to tech, even just being online too much could be classed as a problem, especially if you go on forums, that's certifiable. from> http://www.techaddiction.ca/computer...treatment.html
    Last edited by peterb; 19-06-2018 at 06:11 PM. Reason: Language/swear filter - see FAQs

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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    Dependence is dependence on a substance without it causing a problem. Insulin dependence, for example. I myself have steroid and opioid dependence, neither of which are an addiction as they are not used recreationally and enable me to function rather than causing problems. I am actively trying to reduce the dose of both of these meds as new treatments have become available - this is where dependence covers the physical side and where addiction really is more a behavioural thing but is mediated by neurotransmitter releases and so on.

    An addiction is different in that it usually, but not always requires physical dependence but is actually more a psychological thing and the dependence often isn't so much the substance itself but the dependence on the dopamine / endorphin release that results from it. This means that if you have a stimulus which results in this kind of release, you can develop an addiction without the physical dependence on a substance but you're still dependent on the stimulus.

    We see this with opiate addicts. Those who fix their rubbish lives have far fewer problems with withdrawal whereas those who stay on their current course have a much rougher time of it and are far more likely to relapse. There are also some who simply can not get off the drugs and will hold down a proper job and have a decent family life whilst dependent on the substance. This is where methadone comes in handy but that's a far bigger issue.

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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    So could you have three levels of engagement; indulging, then dependence, then addiction. The majority of people fluctuate between the first two, as I'm sure everyone has ways of coping with living in a stressful world. Personally that's when I escape to gaming sometimes.

    I think society itself might be creating some of these problems, not just in terms of the gaming industry pushing product and competition, but parents often use tech devices as babysitters(the child doesn't understand human interaction), and once they reach about three then their children are gaming. There's also this idea that people do feel alienated, and they do feel like just another drone(bee sense), behind a school desk/office desk; where as within the gaming mind anything is possible.

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    Re: World Health Organisation describes 'gaming disorder'

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    But it's not. Gaming is still fine. It's only a specific disorder that is the problem. It's like saying gambling is not a disease, but gambling addiction is. Ditto alcohol, or sex.
    Doesn't matter... it's how they're portraying it that's the problem.
    Fundamentally, there is nothing different about this compared to any other general addiction. But by highlighting gaming specifically, they are segregating it and making it different enough that it has its own classification.

    Quote Originally Posted by kalniel View Post
    I get the point about having a general 'addiction disorder' - and perhaps that's not a bad idea, but from what little experience I have of the field, they are quite different disorders and require their own considerations and types of treatment.
    They're really not - Gaming, movies, music, collecting/hoarding, internet, porn, reading, shopping, working!, cosmetic surgery, exercise, tanning, slimming... You name it, even if the mechanics are different, the mechanisms behind them are basically the same.
    This is why so many addicts, when trying to conquer their addictions, so easily and readily just replace one addiction with another, usually less harmful, one.
    These addiction mechanisms are also why there's a market for 'coping mechanisms', like clickers and fidget cubes. Vaping is another and the reasons why that has been so successful, although it also features chemical mechanisms in part. More on that later, if anyone is interested.

    The only difference is in understanding the mechanics of the addiction and it rarely makes any difference between addictions. For example, one patient was addicted to smoking and would chuff like a chimney - Exploring the details of the mechanics revealed that it was the 'lighting up' to which he was addicted. He ended up quitting smoking entirely, but still went outside with the other smokers and as they all puffed away on their coffin nails, he instead just set fire to a few small strips of paper over the 10-minute break.

    This was a patient of one of the psychologists who used to work next door to our department at Northwick Park. That same psychologist (our departments often did lunch together) explained all the workings of addiction to me, mainly by explaining how he himself gave up smoking because he didn't like how it controlled his life... but he still replaced smoking with a different addiction, and he is fully aware that he's still addicted to something.

    Quote Originally Posted by philehidiot View Post
    An addiction is different in that it usually, but not always requires physical dependence but is actually more a psychological thing and the dependence often isn't so much the substance itself but the dependence on the dopamine / endorphin release that results from it.
    ^In a nutshell!!

    Quote Originally Posted by johnroe View Post
    then dependence, then addiction.
    Same thing psychologically and technically, if not chemically.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnroe View Post
    I'm sure everyone has ways of coping with living in a stressful world.
    Many of which are forms of addiction.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnroe View Post
    I think society itself might be creating some of these problems
    You don't have to think - Marketing quite openly capitalises on and perpetuates, even relies heavily, upon our addictions... and if there isn't one, they either create it themselves or try to fake it until people start believing it and making it real.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnroe View Post
    There's also this idea that people do feel alienated, and they do feel like just another drone(bee sense), behind a school desk/office desk; where as within the gaming mind anything is possible.
    But that same outlet is what, for hundreds of years, has led people to dream up stories that became classic novels and more recently amazing films, or think about the intricacies of the fine furniture they go on to make at home, or to undertake exploratory expeditions in far away lands, or to go climb massive snow-capped mountains, or start organisations that benefit society, or run for office, or any number of great things...

    For many, gaming is just another hobby and an escape, which can occasionally become so obsessive that it starts to impact the quality of life... but it's no different to a myriad of other activities, with the only difference in mechanics being that it's very open to exploitation by outside parties (ie marketing), with Loot Crates being one example of the exploitation reliant on consumer addiction.

    It's no different, so it should not be treated as such... not least because some people will then exploit that perceived difference for their own agenda.

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