The World Health Organization (WHO) on Monday released the 11th edition of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD) manual, which no longer classifies being transgender as a mental health disorder — but now classifies playing video games as a mental health disorder.
In the newest version of the ICD, the WHO “has removed trans-related identities from a list of mental disorders, reclassifying them under ‘Conditions Related to Sexual Health,'” Newshub reported.
The World Health Organization writes:
Gender incongruence, meanwhile, has also been moved out of mental disorders in the ICD, into sexual health conditions. The rationale being that while evidence is now clear that it is not a mental disorder, and indeed classifying it in this can cause enormous stigma for people who are transgender, there remain significant health care needs that can best be met if the condition is coded under the ICD.
“This is fantastic news. It will be crucial in reducing the stigma around trans and gender diverse people,” New Zealand Human Rights Commission spokesperson Taine Polkinghorne said. “Belonging to the trans or gender diverse community does not equate to having a mental disorder. We should not be pathologized nor discriminated against.”
Members of the trans community experience a significantly higher rate of mental health issues than the rest of general public. USA Today reports:
Suicide attempts are alarmingly common among transgender individuals … 41% try to kill themselves at some point in their lives, compared with 4.6% of the general public.
More than a dozen other surveys of transgender people worldwide since 2001 have found similarly high rates, and the problem has grown more visible since Caitlyn Jenner’s coming out raised awareness about transgender health issues overall.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organization decided to classify excessive video game playing as a mental health disorder. CNN reports:
Watching as a video game ensnares their child, many a parent has grumbled about “digital heroin,” likening the flashing images to one of the world’s most addictive substances.
Now, they may have backup: The World Health Organization announced “gaming disorder” as a new mental health condition …
“I’m not creating a precedent,” said Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, a member of the World Health Organization’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse.
“One [major characteristic of gaming disorder] is that the gaming behavior takes precedence over other activities to the extent that other activities are taken to the periphery,” Poznyak claims, adding that a health professional has to make the diagnosis which “cannot be just an episode of few hours or few days.”