The English Health will open its first clinic against the addiction to video games

It has been a week since we learned that the World Health Organization had updated its International Classification of Diseases, the ICD-11, and included in its directory something called “video game disorder” . The debate on addiction to video games has reopened, although it never closed completely (Victor included in his news some clippings from the Hobby Consoles 24 years ago that were very revealing) even in spite of the numerous studies and discussions among experts on the subject. 

Now the English Public Health, the National Health Service, seems to have taken the next stepto finish propping up the existence of a disorder: a place to treat it. A hospital in London will be the first to host a clinic financed with public funds to serve young people and adults suffering from a problematic relationship, particularly with video games but also with other areas related to the internet, a field in which the clinic will take name Center for Internet Disorders- will expand in the future as people with specific problems emerge. 

One of the founders of the clinic, the psychiatrist Henrietta Bowden-Jones, points out in The Guardian that the need for this type of centers begins to be urgent: «At last the videogame disorder begins to have the attention it deserves. The anguish and pain it can cause are extreme and I feel a moral duty to, on behalf of the NHS, provide evidence-based treatment that these young people and their families need. It is unlikely that we will see an epidemic of young players addicted to the game, but for those who are fighting this can change their lives ».

Bowden-Jones says that they are focusing mainly on young people because they have detected that one of the consequences in serious cases of videogame disorder is school absenteeism, poor performance in studies and ultimately academic dropout, with consequences that can mark the rest of the young person’s life. In addition, these types of centers have existed for free in some Asian countries for years, and there are specialists such as the founder herself, or Jeff van Reenen, the head of addiction treatment at the Priory hospital in Chlemsford, in the county of Essex, ensuring that these initiatives are not only necessary but are already late.

There are also specialists against both the WHO decision and the creation of these centers. The Guardian picks up the opinion of Anthony Bean, a psychologist and director of a mental health clinic in Texas, who points out that the risk of over-compartmentalizing the classification of disorders could lead to diagnostic errors by ignoring other possible causes that are leading to the patient to interact in a harmful way with video games, the internet, social networks or porn.

In his news about the inclusion of the video game disorder in the WHO directory, Victor mentioned that difference between the position of the organization and public opinion, more to iron out the issue and denounce the antipathy that traditionally the yellow media has shown for video games, a medium that used to be used as an activator of social alarm. And the certain thing is that his thesis was demonstrated at the moment: that same somewhat indulgent attitude was reflected in the comments of the post and towards the end a reader intervened with a very personal and quite impressive testimony about his habits with the video game. In a web dedicated to video games, where it is normal to defend them from what someone can understand as attacks, exaggerations or directly myths, it is good to have a contrast from the experience of others that helps put into context this type of problem that affects to some people.

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