As most will know, drug, alcohol, and gambling addictions are commonly treated in rehabilitation clinics. At VIVA! we’ve worked with DARA Rehab helping those afflicted by the aforementioned addictions to seek the help they need.

In our increasingly digitally-focused society, however, other addictions are beginning to arise. As a result, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is set to recognise ‘gaming disorder’ in their 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

Gaming disorder will be characterised as “impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences”.

In order to be diagnosed, someone must exhibit this pattern of behaviour to a certain degree of severity over at least 12 months, and it must result in impairment of one’s personal, family, social, educational, and occupational life.

The new classification is shrouded in controversy after being contested by a number of researchers from around the world. A forthcoming article in the Journal of Behavioural Addictions titled ‘A weak scientific basis for gaming disorder: Let us err on the side of caution’ reasoned that the disorder has a weak evidence base, potentially risking over diagnosis and resulting in further medical, public health, and scientific repercussions.

Here at VIVA!, we predict that regardless of the debate, many addiction rehabilitation clinics will begin to include both gaming and internet addiction services in their repertoire.


If you’re struggling with addiction, seek help from a healthcare professional or speak to someone you trust.