Video gamers react to the WHO adding ‘gaming disorder’ to its mental health conditions

The potential risks of playing too many video games have been debated since arcades, home consoles and computers began going mainstream in the 1970s and 80s. But the World Health Organization announced on Monday that it is labeling “gaming disorder” as a mental health condition for the first time, and has included the term in its updated International Classification of Disease being published this year.

WHO doesn’t give a specific window for whether four hours, 12 or 24 counts as too much time gaming. It warns that the digital distraction becomes a disorder when “increasing priority [is] given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities,” and if the person continues to play or escalates how much they play despite negative consequences, such as interfering with their work or education, dissolving their relationships and hurting their personal health.  more

How the Internet affects your mental health

These days, it seems like we live our lives on the Internet, but can excessive Internet and social media use impact your mental health?  While it’s a helpful tool for education, work, social interaction and entertainment, overuse can take a toll on your health, says Saju Mathew, M.D., a primary care physician at Piedmont.

Internet use and anxiety

Whether it’s from reading too much negative news or researching your symptoms online – something Dr. Mathew says he sees frequently among his patients – too much computer time can increase your anxiety.

“More times than not, it’s not a good idea to research your health symptoms online because the final outcome is a lot of unnecessary anxiety and worry. My overall advice is not to research your symptoms, but to see a doctor first [if you have a health concern].”  more