Two Million Thai Youth Affected by Gaming Addiction: Thailand Ministry of Health

Thailand’s Ministry of Health revealed yesterday that more than two million of its youth is at the risk of being addicted to gaming.

Dr. Piyasakol Sakolsatayadorn, Thailand’s Public Health Minister, revealed yesterday in his address during the opening ceremony of World Health Organization’s National Mental Health Week that they are planning to add “gaming disorder” to the global list of medical conditions.

Internationally, the identification of this disorder is based on the pattern of gaming behavior. When gaming becomes the top priority over other activities such as studies, sports, spending time with family or even escalation in game time it is considered a sign of gaming disorder.

While comparing this addiction with drugs, Dr. Piyasakol explained, like any other drug, daily gameplay gradually increases to the point where they cannot go a day without playing, also that “Hundreds of thousands of Thais already have the disorder,” and the majority does not know how to keep away from the addiction.

Thai health ministry, however, is teaming up with 84 organizations to come up with solutions for controlling this ever-growing addiction.

Steps are being taken to raise awareness against this epidemic and an establishment of monitoring system for those affected by it. Parents are being told to limit their child’s gameplay to two hours and choosing games that are constructive, educational and increases the bond between them.

Dr. Piyasakol urged the parents to set a good example for their kids, by only playing at appropriate time and location since they are just as much addicted to their devices as the kids are.

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