During the latest update, the World Health Organization expanded its International Classification of Diseases handbook to include both burnout and gaming disorder as officially recognized conditions.
Burnout falls under employment or unemployment-related problems. The symptoms of this condition include exhaustion, strong negative feelings towards one’s job and/or work environment, and the inability to perform tasks.
Although quite similar to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, it is still vital to make the distinction between the two to accurately pinpoint the root of the problem. In that sense, burnout is a specific condition which stems from work-related stress exclusively and not other life circumstances.
On the other hand, gaming disorder made the list thanks in large to addictive behaviors associated with it. Gambling disorder falls under the same category, for identical reasons.
The diagnosis of the gaming disorder can be given to people who compulsively play video games and put gaming above all else. Also, a crucial aspect with patients diagnosed with gaming disorder is that they continue gaming despite being fully aware of the negative consequences and the fact that they’re neglecting other responsibilities.
There have been multiple cases across the globe of young adults dying at their computer screens because they didn’t eat and/or sleep for several days. Even in cases that aren’t this extreme, the disorder can have a severe negative impact on the person’s social life, education, and career.
Hence, WHO decided to bring more attention to this problem by making gaming disorder an official diagnosis. However, for a patient to get diagnosed with gaming disorder, they must have exhibited the aforementioned symptoms for a period of at least one year.