Gaming disorder

There are also concerns about esports.
That is "Gaming disorders".

What's Gaming disorders?

Game disorders are a disease that affects one's personal life from excessive dependence on online games. Along with the eleventh revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), it was defined as a new disease from the World Health Organization (WHO) on June 18, 2018(Japan time).

What's ICD?

ICD is the international standard for the classification of diseases, the official name is "International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems".
It was revised for the first time in about 30 years.

The eleventh revised version (ICD - 11) of the ICD released this time will be submitted to the WHO General Assembly in May 2019 where it will be approved.
In addition to game disorders, the description on gender identity disorder and oriental traditional medicine has been added to ICD-11.
It will take 1 or 2 years from the approval at the WHO General Assembly to proceed with preparations such as Japanese translation and then be applied in Japan as well.

Criteria and symptoms

The criteria for a gaming disorders are as follows:

  • Cannot restrict the use of games
  • Makes games the top priority
  • Continues playing games even if problems occur in daily life
    A serious problem is occurring in everyday life from playing game

In recent years, this issue has been taken up with the spread of esports in Japan.

Game addiction have various physical and mental health hazards as follows:

  • Lung function and endurance reduction, clear physical strength reduction
  • Eye disorder, nutritional deficiency, sleep deprivation
  • Depression

In Korea, cases of death due to ecomony-class syndrome while excessively gaming have appeared.

Method of treatment about game addiction

How is treatment of game dependence being done?
Let's look at an example of inpatient care at the Kurihama medical center which is treating Internet dependence.

Programs in hospitals are as follows and take about 6~8 weeks:

  1. Doctors consider game addiction from various angles, and how to change life concretely, using what is called Cognitive Behavior Therapy.
  2. Doctors make patients practive health sleep cycles, and play sports such as badminton, table tennis, tennis and stationary bicycling during the day in order to build up stamina.
  3. Patients receive lectures about problems such as sleeping, exercising, nutrition, addiction and health by doctors, nurses, dieticians and occupational therapist.
  4. Patients are consulted by their own doctors, and receive various inspections and physical fitness measurements.

It is easy for patients to break away from games by going to hospital and habituating to a more regular lifestyle.
You can see that the emphasis in this treatment rearranging is on arranging the life rhythm.

The method of treatment about other addictions, and experiences

Some people have beaten game dependence by methods other than inpatient treatment.
We have expanded the scope of our research to addiction as well as dependence on games, and investigated whether there is another key to getting out of game dependence.
And we found two hints to get rid of dependence from the experience shared in a story of addiction.

Finding employment (Living in former environment)

Ms.A married and gave birth at a young age.
She began to do gambling with her friend, but gradually she became addicted due to the stresses of parenting and her relationship with her husband.
Shestruggled with the feeling of guilt from going to gamble and wasting several million per day and the thrill of possibly hitting a jackpot.
Then, because she was worried, she broke off ties with her friend. And she found re-employment, by doing so, she could concentrate on work and child care at that time, but she said “Even now I have quit gambling, there is always something tempting me.”

To decide it for one year and try

Mr.B had beaten a gambling addiction, and this time, he decided to challenge himself and quit smoking.
There were a lot of times when cigarettes appeared in his dreams until for six months.
It seemed to him that he regretted his decision when he felt the urge to inhale something.
However, his health consciousness gradually became stronger, he became able to live a lifestyle with hearty eating habits.
As the year passed, he felt that it was good to quit smoking and he gained confidence in his health quite a lot.
If you are going to break out of an addiction, it seems difficult to achieve without completely cutting all sources of temptation.

Many people have experienced addiction.
It is important to listen to those people to make use of the various tips and insights they have.
It would also be effective to have a place to talk about addiction.


In Korea where internet addiction has caused death in some cases, Internet dependency measures nationwide are carried out as follows:

  • Open a lifeline for victims to consult about net-addiction
  • A camp to regain everyday life without games, "Rescue School"

The Rescue School is especially effective, 70% of the participants have a good track record that they are living a good daily life afterwards.

There are still few hospitals that are conducting advanced medical treatment for gaming disorders in Japan, and so far there is no record to record the problem on a national scale.
It is also necessary to control the time each of us play the game and prevent it from becoming addictive an addiction.