Experts weigh-in on gaming disorder

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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Video gaming goes up a level -- soon health insurers may offer coverage to help extreme-gamers cut the cord.
The World Health Organization wants to add "Gaming Disorder" to it's list of diseases.
News Ten's Marcus Dash sat down with an expert to learn how to recognize the symptoms.
He found that if you are somebody who can put the controller down and not think twice about it -- chances are, you do not have a gaming disorder
Therapist Travis Johnson says people who suffer from this have a unique set of symptoms

"These are individuals who are preoccupied with gaming throughout their day when they are engaged in daily activities and they're also individuals who experience withdrawals when they think about gaming"

Travis Johnson is a licensed family and marriage therapist.

"It is like any other addiction," Johnson said. "It consumes your time, effects your relationships and your overall well being. Missed opportunities to interact with loved ones and maybe individuals get complacent, they are not being mindful of their health, physical health, emotional health, or cognitive health."

Johnson knows people can't just put the controller down but he says people should build structure around their gaming so they can focus on other things in their life.

"Making sure you are timing yourself, trying to build some sort of structure or schedule, if you are gaming for 6 hours, well you probably need to be putting as much energy into other areas of your life," Johnson said.

He added that getting this disorder in the public eye is a step in the right direction. And that it is starting the conversation for people to have some self-reflection.

With this disease becoming official Johnson hopes people will want to get help to treat their condition

The draft of the list of disease says the behavior needs to be evident for at least 12 months in order to be diagnosed as "Gaming Disorder."