Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones from the Royal College of Psychiatrists said: “Today’s recognition of gaming addiction as an illness will be an enormous relief to the parents of sufferers. Up until now, the lack of recognition of the disorder has meant treatment has not been properly in place. The NHS now has an opportunity to change this.
“While there are relatively low rates of gaming disorder in the UK, symptoms can be severe. Sufferers end up living in a virtual world that becomes their reality. Their lack of input into school, exams and activities ends up alienating them to the extent that they can’t tell the difference between immediate gratification (from computer games) and long-term reward.”