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Featured Image Credit: PA/Fortnite
Gaming addiction will be officially recognised as a mental disorder from tomorrow - meaning those suffering from it could get free NHS treatment.
The World Health Organisation has listed 'gaming disorder' in its International Classification of Dieseases (ICD) for the first time.
But this isn't aimed at your casual gamer who enjoys a FIFA binge with pals at the weekend. According to WHO guidelines, to be diagnosed with gaming disorder you must 'experience significant impairment in personal, family, social, educational, occupational or other important areas of function' and you must have lived with this for at least one year.
Although most of us are lucky enough to enjoy playing video games without it having any serious impact on our lives, one mother revealed that she had put her daughter in rehab after she devolved a severe addiction to Fortnite.
Speaking to the Mirror, the child's mum said her nine-year-old daughter was so engrossed in the game she regularly wet herself and was falling asleep in class.
The girl's folks say they were first alerted to a problem when they noticed payments totaling around £50 on their credit card and suspected their daughter.
The mum said: "Our daughter told us it could be some extras she'd paid for on Fortnite. Of course we were furious and confiscated her Xbox. But then she lashed out and hit my husband in the face.
"My husband saw her light on in the night and found her sitting on a urine-soaked cushion playing the game.
"I found her backside was red-raw. She was so hooked to the game she wouldn't even go to the toilet."
They later found out that she had been waiting until they went to sleep before getting out of bed to play the game all night - sometimes for up to 10 hours a day, while her parents had no clue what she was up to.
The mum continued: "We had no idea, when we let her play the game, of the addictive nature or the impact it could have on her mental health.
"She is in therapy for the addiction after she became withdrawn, agitated and disturbed from playing up to ten hours a day - sometimes playing until dawn, wetting herself so she didn't have to leave the screen.
"This is a serious issue which is destroying our little girl's life and someone needs to step in to ban it before it becomes an epidemic.
"We got called in by her head teacher asking if everything was OK. She had fallen asleep twice in lessons and her grades were slipping.
"When we asked our daughter what the problem was, she became unusually argumentative and aggressive, which we just put down to her hormones."
The girl is now undergoing psychotherapy.
Topics: UK News