Thu. Oct 17th, 2019

Health Organisation acknowledges burnout at work, video game addiction

Work burnoutIn the case of video game addiction, they placed it alongside the likes of drug and gambling addiction.

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For the first time in its history, the World Health Organisation has listed burnout in its International Classification of Diseases and risked the ire of the internet by placing video games alongside drug addiction.

The global body debated the topics of burnout and video game addiction at its World Health Assembly in Switzerland after an updated list of diseases was drafted in 2018.

Burnout at work: Why it matters

The list, particularly in the case of workplace burnout, is significant because of how widely it is used as a reference by insurance companies and medical professionals around the world.

The decision means that burnout will now be classified as a medical condition, but only in the context of the workplace.

The classification was as follows:

  1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
  2. Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
  3. Reduced professional efficacy
  4. Burn-out refers specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.

Video game and drug addiction

In the case of video game addiction, they placed it alongside the likes of drug and gambling addiction, which seems fair enough. However, it is sure to draw the ire of the gaming community, who tend to react to any negative press with extreme prejudice.

The classification read:

Gaming disorder is characterized by a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour, which may be online or offline, manifested by:

  1. Impaired control over gaming (e.g., onset, frequency, intensity, duration, termination, context)
  2. Increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities
  3. Continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences
  4. The behaviour pattern is of sufficient severity to result in significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of functioning

Among other changes were the inclusion of “compulsive sexual behaviour” as a mental health disorder, but they stopped short of grouping it with drug and gaming addiction. They also removed transgenderism as a mental disorder, listing it under “conditions related to sexual health” instead.

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