Gaming addiction is now officially classified as a mental disorder

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We've heard about it from our parents for a long time but now it's official... addiction to video games has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as a mental health disorder.

The WHO's latest reference bible of recognised and diagnosable diseases describes addiction to digital and video gaming as "a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour" that becomes so extensive that it "takes precedence over other life interests".

The International Classification of Diseases (ICD), which has been updated over the past 10 years, now covers 55,000 injuries, diseases and causes of death. It forms a basis for the WHO and other experts to see and respond to trends in health.

"It enables us to understand so much about what makes people get sick and die, and to take action to prevent suffering and save lives," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a statement as the ICD was published.

Many parents have spoken out in the media about "addictions" lately, with one mother of a young daughter putting her in rehab after the addiction took over her life. 

Speaking to the Mirror, the child's mum said her nine-year-old daughter was so engrossed in the game she regularly wet herself and was falling asleep in class.

The girl's folks say they were first alerted to a problem when they noticed payments totaling around £50 on their credit card and suspected their daughter.

The mum said: "Our daughter told us it could be some extras she'd paid for on Fortnite. Of course we were furious and confiscated her Xbox. But then she lashed out and hit my husband in the face."