ICD-11 takes on burnout and gaming addiction


Are you exhausted? Feel cynical toward your job? Tell your boss that you are part of an occupational phenomenon called burnout. But maybe don’t mention it’s in the same category as dust exposure and interpersonal relationship problems. 

The World Health Organization recently presented the proposed ICD-11 family of diagnostic and procedural codes at the 22nd World Health Assembly; now member states have to endorse ICD-11 before it can be used for reporting health data, scheduled for January 2022. Although when the U.S. would adopt it is more in question, since we only began using ICD-10 in 2015. Other countries began adopting it in 1998.

ICD-11 would define burnout as a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” The diagnosis would only apply to the office, not stresses in one’s personal life. 

But maybe you feel stress at the office for other reasons. Maybe you’d rather play “Helix Jump.” ICD-11 will classify gaming addiction as a mental health disorder.

While 97% of teen boys and 83% of teen girls play video games, according to the Pew Research Center, parents shouldn’t panic. The WHO emphasizes that the addiction is rare and characterized by an “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.”

But if you plan to use mental health disorder as an excuse when your boss catches you playing “Candy Crush,” just be aware that the American Psychiatric Association is hesitant in calling it an addiction, noting that it could be linked to an underlying problem like depression or anxiety.


Photo courtesy of: Modern Healthcare

Originally Published On: Modern Healthcare

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