12 on Health: Video 'gaming disorder'

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NEW YORK -

Playing video games too much will now be recognized as a disorder by the World Health Organization.

"There is a lot of debate as to what a gaming disorder is. For myself, as a child psychiatrist, it has a lot to do with what would be abnormal for gamers in what would impair your functioning," Brooklyn Dr. Owen Muirm says.

WHO says it's adding excessive video game disorder to its list of international classification of diseases in 2018.

Muir says the move gives medical professionals more resources to research and treat the addiction. 

"It's not what your 80-year-old mother thinks is too much video games. It's what is actually kind of out of the norm and causes impairment in work and school life."

Muir says treatments for gaming disorder will vary.

He says games, unlike some addictions, are designed to keep you engaged.

Games trigger your brain's reward system and make you want to come back for more.

"If you're playing video games so much that you're not leaving your house, you're not eating your food, you're not going to school, you're not going to work; those are problems in your life," he says.

Muir says the first step is to get an evaluation from a doctor who will be able to tell you if playing too many games is an actual problem

or the root of other issues.

He suggests seeing a psychologist or a physiatrist for help if you believe you may be spending too much time playing video games.

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