New Delhi: The World Health Organisation (WHO) has listed ‘burnout’ and ‘gaming disorder’ as diagnosable diseases. During the World Health Assembly in Geneva on Tuesday, the WHO defined burnout as “resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. Also Read - WHO to Set Up Traditional Medicine Centre in India, PM Modi Says Matter of Pride
It can be diagnosed if a person shows symptoms like feelings of energy depletion, exhaustion, mental detachment from work, cynicism, reduced professional efficacy and an overwhelming sense of negativity. Also Read - World Mental Health Day 2020: Here is How The COVID-19 Pandemic Has Contributed to a Disturbed Mental State
It is one of the most common conditions at a workplace that usually goes unnoticed under the umbrella term ‘stress’. However, the decision made by the WHO is finally made it possible for people to believe that it is not always just an excuse. Also Read - World Suicide Prevention Day 2020: History, Significance, And Why It's The Need of Hour
On the other hand, video game addiction is much more seen and much less attended. The definition given by the WHO for gaming disorder is that it is “a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour” so severe it “takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences”.
It is important to note here that the addiction qualifies as “severe” only when there is robust evidence of a person prioritizing gaming over work, education and social relationships and shows such symptoms at least for 12 months.
This is the first time that video gaming has been identified as an addiction alongside gambling and drug abuse. Apart from the two, the updated list has also removed transgenderism from its list of mental disorders, and instead listed it under “conditions related to sexual health”.
Mental health is a hot topic of discussion for any professional organisation but little heed is paid when it comes to certain addictions that either cause one to work too much or ‘game’ too much.