The addiction in the video games: a disease recognized by the WHO!

 

 

As reports the « Journal du geek » newspaper1, a new milestone was put in the debate concerning health and video games. Indeed, the WHO registered the addiction on the video games on its list of diseases.

If this piece of news can relaunch the debate, because seeming to agree with those who think that video games are a danger for society, Shekhar Saxena, who manages the department of mental health and drug addiction of the WHO, does not take a stand in this debate. Indeed, he declares to the AFP (french-language international news agency), standing neutral, that ” the WHO does not say that any habit to play video games is pathological “. According to the WHO, the addiction is defined by a ” loss of control over the game ” having ” harmful consequences “, as the relinquishment of ” certain activities “, ” like the sleep and the meal “.

Then the WHO doesn’t want to stigmatize video games. Moreover, numerous doctors think that the concerned players are urged by other reasons to be interested in the games; the dependence would be then a symptom of their disease, and not the disease itself.

But to understand the stakes in this announcement, it is already necessary to understand what it means. And the WHO calls back on this matter that its classification of diseases has for objective to notify countries and to help them to make decisions on ” the allocation of resources for the prevention and the treatment of the pathology “. Then what we need to understand, is that the addiction in the video games is becoming a social problem! Not only some individuals here and there, but a big fringe of the world population!

And if this problem emerges only now, it is probably because the domain of video game largely evolved these last years. The editors managed indeed to set up practices which urge the players to play more and more for a long time. As for example the random improve of the characters abilities during the time spent to play. This practice common to all the role player games (RPG) forces literally the player to stay in front of its screen to be able to move forward in the game, inducing a practice called “farming” (the name of which referred to the relation set between the player and his character). Or still the creation of big universes, games in which the scenario is not linear any more and encourage the player to explore the world of the game. Or still, on the contrary, to shorter the cycles of the games and to eliminate the plot aspect of the game (like that could be the case in arcade games, where it was necessary to pay at the beginning of each and every reload of the game).

This last practice, in particular, is in adequacy with the evolution of the materials used to play. From now on, a big part of the games (and thus players) are enabled on portable systems: smartphone or tablet. What it means, is that everyone can have access to a game in only a few seconds, as soon as a down-time appears during the day, because from now on, everybody lives with his smartphone.

But the question is probably wider than the video games addiction. Wouldn’t it be, more fundamentally, about an addiction to technology and to screens? For the record, in 2014, even the Prime Minister of the French Government was forced to prohibit mobile phones during the Council of Ministers2

Look further / Useful link(s)

Notes

1■ Journal of geek : WHO considers video games addiction as a disease

2■ Figaro magazine : Ministers leaved without their smartphones during the meetings

 

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The children of the digital technology: a generation of “sick”?

 

Fears, addictions, confinement, insomnias, diseases: the risks connected to the digital technology are to be seriously taken. The young people are affected by new mental illnesses or described as such. The list is long and does not stop lengthening. The young people found in the digital technology a refuge in front of their ill-being, but it finally seems to aggravate their solitude.

So, in 2015, a new syndrome was born: Fobo (for Fear Of Being Offline). This one is characterized by the fear of being disconnected. Since then, the list stretches out and after the syndrome of the ghost vibrations and the “nomophobia”, which is translated by the anxiety to be separated from its mobile phone, the selfitism has just been described as a mental illness.

The next one on the list of the World Health Organization: the addiction in the video games. Then, why the WHO made such a decision? The answer is maybe near pharmaceutical companies. Indeed, qualifying the disorders of the video game as a disease involves that the people recognized as sick will get a medicinal prescription (to pay!). Yet, labs think they finalized of “the molecules specially targeted at the adolescent depressions with compulsive behavior”, which is obviously the case at the players.

The problem? According to Emilie Danchin, ” give medicine to young people who have a narcissistic fragility entail a risk of making them hooked to medicine. It is necessary to begin with questioning the practice and wondering what makes that we have a dependent personality “.

Read full article in French on “alternativesante”.

 

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Moral harassment weakens the health

We knew it, but it feels good to remind it…

« The consequences of the school harassment are more and more studied, and it’s for the best. The television series ” 13 Reasons Why “, which tells the story of the suicide of a teenager victim of harassment, recently knew a big success. If it aroused the debate, it has the merit to put back the subject in light. A team of American researchers was interested in the question too, publishing its results on April 28th in “Psychological Science”. Their discovery? The school harassment leaves profound marks on adulthood, on the health of the harassed one AND of the harasser. »
Article in french here.

Usefull links:
« Stalking the Soul: Emotional Abuse » from Marie-France HIRIGOYEN (i read it a few years ago, but i remember its topics were wide enough)

 

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Long live the stress ?


WHAT

How our body reacts to a source of stress within short, average and long term?

WHY

I have just seen a small report on arte-tv1 which speaks about the answer (urgent and unconscious) of the body to a rough stress. We see in particular a climbing accident, a beam to be crossed over the space, a musician who feels nervous before rising on stage … This last case has this of interesting: the musician was coached to deal with her stage fright (nerves), and one of the things which calmed her is the fact of having the explanation of the mechanisms of this stage fright.

HOW

The idea is to make contribute all the parts of the body by allocating all energy on the resources assigned to what allows us to run fast (muscles, lungs, heart, …), the whole with a good dose of adrenalin and of cortisol to be concentrated well, not have pain too much, and to be combative! Then, to “hold” that state, he sets in sleep mode what is not vital at the time (digestion, microbial immunity …).
At the time it is a very good reaction … but you should not confuse stress and chronic stress. Our body is not made to go the distance if this excitement continues: we run out and abime our organs. Physiological effects are made more and more visible, as for example:
► Muscular tensions with pains and associated fatigue
► hair loss
► Digestive disorders (burns, stomach pain, constipation …)
► Blood test showing more sugars or cholesterol
► Immunizing weakening
► Taking or loss of weight
► Cardiac disorders (palpitations, even cardiovascular risk)
► Anxiety, unstable humor, insomnias, depression

WHAT CAN BE DONE WITH IT

In brief, the stress that can be life-saving but don’t make an excessive use of it: on a daily basis, it is better to practise some methods of relaxation !

Look further / Usefull link(s)
♦ Book « l’intelligence du stress » from Jacques Fradin

Notes
1■ Xenius « Quand le corps se met en mode d’urgence » played on arte (march 2017)

 

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