Sunday, June 24, 2018 by Vicki Batts
The World Health Organization recently released the 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD) manual. Under the new guidelines, playing video games can constitute a mental disorder — but having a transgender identity does not. The juxtaposition of these two new classifications has left many a person scratching their head. The classification of gamers as “mentally ill” has been particularly controversial.
While the WHO used to consider “gender incongruence” as a “mental illness,” the newest version of the ICD puts transgender issues under the “sexual health conditions” camp. Not long ago, the American Psychiatric Association pulled off a similar move, eliminating the term “gender identity disorder” from their manual. But some have questioned if the reclassification and re-branding of gender identity disorders has less to do with “science” and more to do with the left-wing’s political agenda.
While the WHO has added “gaming disorder” to its chapter on mental illness in the ICD, there is no shortage of issues with this decision. Most notably, is the fact that their description of the “illness” is so incredibly broad that it’s impossible to define. The criteria include: “gaming is strongly preferred over other activities, the patient does not stop even when there are negative consequences like doing badly at work, compulsive gaming strains the patient’s life or relationships, and all this has been happening for at least a year.”
As sources explain,”gaming” can easily be substituted with virtually any behavior or substance in this description — which means it’s not a problem with video games explicitly. Moreover, the description provided by the ICD basically states that sometimes, people who play video games play them too much — something that could be said of any hobby or activity.
Many people, including liberals and feminists, have spoken out about the political motivations surrounding trans issues. Conservative commentator Ben Shapiro has written about the politics of such decisions regarding transgender issues, noting that changing the parameters of what constitutes a “mental illness”and what doesn’t is extremely advantageous for the political left. Shapiro states:
It’s cruel to allow a mentally ill person to exploit himself in public, but the political left is happy to do so in order to perpetuate the pseudo-scientific nonsense that a man can magically turn into a woman. Their agenda: If men and women are the same but for hormone therapy, implants and repeated surgical intervention, then all disparities between male and female can be attributed to societal biases. And those societally created “gender constructs” can be corrected only by massive government intervention, including re-education of children.
The WHO admits to their own less-than-scientific motivations for the change, as the agency notes that moving “gender incongruence” to the sexual health conditions category should “help to reduce stigma.”
Dr. Lale Say, a coordinator from WHO’s Adolescents and At-Risk Populations team, commented, “So in order to reduce the stigma while also ensuring access to necessary health interventions, this was placed in a different chapter.”
Say contended that the organization has a “better understanding of the condition” now, and that leaving it labeled as a mental health condition was “causing stigma.”
If the focus of this decision is on removing stigma for trans people, it’s not really a “science-based” decision, as the WHO is touting it to be — it’s a political one.
While no one should be attacked for their “identity,” “disorder” or whatever you want to call it, pretending that these agenda-based decisions are solely made on “science” isn’t doing anyone any favors.
Read more stories about what is and is not a “mental condition” these days at Psychiatry.news.
Sources for this article include: