At the beginning of this year, the entire world was shocked by the announcement of the World Health Organization that video game addiction is already considered as one of the mental health disorders. This adds to the list of other form of addiction that needs treatment inside a rehab facility. For alcohol abuse, there is the alcohol dependency rehab and people who are addicted to drugs also have a facility to turn to. Because of this new addiction classification, many are curious as to the details.
First, let us look at why WHO decided to release the statement at the same time when Fortnite is gaining too much attention from games and is given the same respect by players as football fans give respect to the World Cup. The problem is that the media is starting to make it look like Fortnite is the reason why the new addiction was classified in the first place. The fact is that the medical world has been trying to categorize this new disorder even before Fortnite reached the peak of its success.
According to Mike Evans, a psychologist and a counselor, the new diagnostic label promoted the rise of developing specialists who will answer the demand in the field. Evans explained that long before the classification was announce by WHO, there is already a team of specialist that are looking into evidences that will determine if a gamer has the possibility of being addicted into a game to the point of dependency. They studied its impact on the person’s life in various aspects including personal, moral, financial and social. Evans is also working in a clinic where they are treating gaming addicts.
Evans explained that it was not easy for families to find help before the announcement of WHO because professionals do not understand the gaming aspect and the huge impact it has on a person’s personality and social interactions. Just like the treatment for other addictions such as in alcohol dependency rehab, the therapist will not be able to prescribe treatment unless they have been trained to understand gaming and the effect it has on patients who are affected.