Is “gaming disorder” real?

By August 2, 2018Blog

On 6/18/18 the World Health Organization (WHO) classified “gaming disorder” as a diagnosable condition. Proposed criteria for the diagnosis code include gaming that interferes with school or causes suffering in other life areas for a period of 12 months or more. It is important to know that just because a condition has a code in the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) doesn’t mean that insurance companies will pay for treatment.
The diagnosis remains controversial as the American Psychiatric Association (APA) feels there is not sufficient research evidence to classify gaming as its own disorder at this time. Sunpointe providers follow APA recommendations but certainly recognize that too much of any behavior can interfere with academic and social development. We encourage families to develop a media policy to cover gaming and other forms of electronics. We generally recommend limiting total screen time to 2 hours a day (outside of necessary school work).

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) states that screen media should be avoided all together in toddlers <18 months of age. General recommendations for children 2-5 years are for 1 hour/day. AAP also encourages families of children 6 & up to have limits on screen time and designate media-free times.
Our clinicians encourage you to keep kids active this summer. For more information see the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) Facts for Families Guide 54: Screen Time and Children at