World Health Organization (WHO): “Gaming Disorder” Is A Disease

28 May

Like it or not, technology is a part of life. The key is to use technology for YOUR advantage and to not let technology control you. Parents must monitor their children’s use of technology. Caroline Knorr has an excellent article at Common Sense Media, How Rude! Manners For the Digital Age Parents must talk with their children about the responsible use of social media and the Internet. Common Sense Media has some great discussion points in the article, Rules of the Road for Kids

Rules of the Road for Kids
1. Guard your privacy. What people know about you is up to you.
2. Protect your reputation. Self-reflect before you self-reveal. What’s funny or edgy today could cost you tomorrow.
3. Nothing is private online. Anything you say or do can be copied, pasted, and sent to gazillions of people without your permission.
4. Assume everyone is watching. There’s a huge, vast audience out there. If someone is your friend’s friend, they can see everything.
5. Apply the Golden Rule. If you don’t want it done to you, don’t do it to someone else.
6. Choose wisely. Not all content is appropriate. You know what we mean.
7. Don’t hide. Using anonymity to cloak your actions doesn’t turn you into a trustworthy, responsible human being.
8. Think about what you see. Just because it’s online doesn’t make it true.
9. Be smart, be safe. Not everyone is who they say they are. But you know that.

A timely discussion now may save a lot of heartache for you and your family later.
Rebecca Greenfield has a great post at the Atlantic Wire which summarizes a sampling of other articles about Facebook’s effect on children. In What Facebook Does to Kids’ Brains

Mike Snider of USA TODAY wrote in Video game addiction officially considered a mental disorder, WHO says:

Think your kid is addicted to video games? There could be something to it.
The World Health Organization has made video game addiction an official mental health disorder. The Geneva, Switzerland-headquartered organization has added “Gaming disorder” to the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems or “ICD-11,” which goes into effect in January 2022.
The condition has been included in the global medical guide within a section detailing disorders due to substance use or addictive behaviors along with “Gambling disorder.”
The ICD-11 describes ”Gaming disorder” as recurrent video game playing that leads to “impaired control over gaming” and an “increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities,” despite “the occurrence of negative consequences.”
But health officials and video game industry representatives from across the globe have decried the WHO’s move saying it comes without adequate research. There still is not enough research to warrant the classification of a gaming disorder, wrote an international team of more than three dozen mental health researchers in a paper published in the Journal of Behavioral Addictions last year three months before WHO announced its plans to include ”Gaming disorder” in the guide.
“Risk of abuse of a formalized new disorder that solely involves the behavior of playing video games – a stigmatized entertainment activity – can only expand the false-positive issues in psychiatry,” the researchers wrote. One of the researchers, Chris Ferguson, a psychologist and media researcher at Stetson University in DeLand, Florida, resurfaced the paper on Twitter after the organization’s action. “This expansion will likely have a psychological and societal cost, potential harming the well-being of our children.”
The American Psychiatric Association has also said there was not “sufficient evidence” to consider gaming addiction as a “unique mental disorder.”
Citing similar concerns, video game groups from across the globe – including the Entertainment Software Association and UK Interactive Association – asked WHO to “rethink their decision.” WHO ”is an esteemed organization and its guidance needs to be based on regular, inclusive, and transparent reviews backed by independent experts,” their statement said. “‘Gaming disorder’ is not based on sufficiently robust evidence to justify its inclusion in one of the WHO’s most important norm-setting tools.”
But there has been research documenting cases of people playing video games for up to 20 hours a day to the detriment of other activities including work, sleep and eating, Shekhar Saxena, expert on mental health and substance abuse for WHO, told Reuters….

See, “Gaming Disorder” Is A Disease, World Health Organization Decides; Industry Responds: The WHO adds “gaming disorder” to its database of diseases.

Here is the press release from WHO:

World Health Assembly Update, 24 May 2019
24 May 2019
News release

Health, environment and climate change
Member States agreed a new global strategy on health, environment and climate change: the transformation needed to improve lives and well-being sustainably through healthy environments. The strategy provides a vision and way forward on how the world and its health community need to respond to environmental health risks and challenges until 2030.
Risks include environmental physical, chemical, biological and work-related factors.
They also agreed a plan of action on climate change and health in small island developing States. The plan has four strategic lines of action: empowerment (supporting health leadership in small island developing States); evidence (building the business case for investment); implementation (preparedness for climate risks, adaptation and health-promoting mitigation policies); resources (facilitating access to climate and health finance).
Noncommunicable diseases
Member States agreed a decision to accelerate and scale up action to prevent and treat noncommunicable diseases, primarily cancer, diabetes, and heart and lung diseases, and to meet global targets to reduce the number of people dying too young from these diseases.
NCDs are the leading cause of premature death: WHO estimates that 15.2 million people died in 2016, aged between 30 and 70 years, from one of these conditions.
The Health Assembly heard that for the first time since the initial United Nations General Assembly High-level Meeting on NCDs in 2011, there are promising signs that health outcomes are improving thanks to action on NCDs. These include a downward trend in prevalence of tobacco smoking, heavy episodic drinking of alcoholic beverages and raised blood pressure.
Treatment interventions, including for hypertension, have also progressed through strengthening primary health care services. There has also been an increase in the number of countries with national standards for managing major NCDs through a primary care approach.
Later this year, WHO will publish a technical note setting out indicators for countries to annually measure progress on the commitments they made at the UN General Assembly to address NCDs and include in reports to the United Nations Secretary General.
World Chagas Day and Year of the Nurse and Midwife
Today Member States also agreed to establish World Chagas Day, to be celebrated each year on 14 April. Chagas, a neglected tropical disease, currently affects between 6 and 7 million people, mostly in Latin America. They also declared 2020 the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.
Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework
Further to requests made by the World Health Assembly in 2017 and 2018, today delegates considered the final text of WHO’s analysis of the issues raised by the 2016 PIP Framework Review Group’s recommendations concerning seasonal influenza and genetic sequence data. The Health Assembly also considered the information provided by the Secretariat regarding implementation of the recommendations contained in the Director-General’s report on progress to implement decision WHA70(10).
Delegates adopted a decision to request WHO, inter alia, to work with the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System (GISRS) and other partners to improve influenza virus sharing, and to prepare a report with Member States and stakeholders on influenza virus sharing and public health in the context of legislation and regulatory measures including those implementing the Nagoya Protocol.
Furthermore, the Health Assembly requested more information on the prototype search engine previously developed and asked WHO to explore possible next steps in raising awareness of the PIP Framework among databases, data users and data providers.
The decision also agreed to amend a footnote relating to SMTA2 (Standard Material Transfer Agreement 2) in the PIP Framework. This will help ensure that the integrity of the PIP Framework access and benefit-sharing system continues to be well maintained.
The PIP Framework is an international normative instrument adopted by the Health Assembly in 2011 that brings together WHO, Member States, industry, and other relevant stakeholders to implement a global approach to pandemic influenza preparedness and response. The objective of the PIP Framework is to ensure a fair, transparent, equitable, efficient and effective system for, on an equal footing, the sharing of influenza viruses with human pandemic potential and access to vaccines and other benefits.

There is something to be said for Cafe Society where people actually meet face-to-face for conversation or the custom of families eating at least one meal together. Time has a good article on The Magic of the Family Meal,9171,1200760,00.html See, also The Importance of Eating Together: Family dinners build relationships, and help kids do better in school.

It also looks like Internet rehab will have a steady supply of customers according to an article reprinted in the Seattle Times by Hillary Stout of the New York Times. In Toddlers Latch On to iPhones – and Won’t Let Go Stout reports:

But just as adults have a hard time putting down their iPhones, so the device is now the Toy of Choice — akin to a treasured stuffed animal — for many 1-, 2- and 3-year-olds. It’s a phenomenon that is attracting the attention and concern of some childhood development specialists.

Looks like social networking may not be all that social.


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