World Health Organization recently recognized gaming addiction as a legitimate disease. Now it seems that there is a potentially viable treatment to this disease. Researchers in Germany have been working on a treatment and they claim that a treatment that works 70% of the time and does not require any drugs.
This research was conducted between 2012 and 2017 in four clinics located in Germany and Austria. The sample included 143 men. These men were divided into two groups at random. 72 got the treatment while the remaining 71 did not and acted as the control group.
Researchers used a modified version of cognitive behavior therapy. This consisted of 15 weekly group sessions and up to eight two-week one-on-one sessions. Müller, one of the authors of the study mentioned the following about the research that was conducted to treat gaming addiction:
It is important to emphasize that it does not automatically mean you are addicted if you are keen on playing computer games. It is important to keep in mind that only a minority is developing an addictive behavior toward gaming and other internet activities. On the same hand, it is equally important to take these patients seriously and to accept that they are suffering and in need of help. Anything else would be mere ignorance.
People that play games as a hobby or in their free time cannot be called gaming addicts and the fact that people continue to play games after the research does not mean that the treatment has failed either. Gaming addiction is a real thing and it has to be taken very seriously. This is why such research is being conducted so that parents and loved ones know what to do in these kinds of situations.
Müller mentioned that the aim of the treatment is not to move the patient away from gaming or any screen, it is to empower the patient to have more control. The treatment is not really perfect at this point as the sample did not include any females. Maybe more research can be conducted on how this treatment affects females down the line. Müller mentioned the following in this regard:
While recent epidemiological surveys have shown almost no sex differences regarding the prevalence of [internet addiction,] female patients with [internet addiction] are seldom represented in the help system. Therefore, further clinical trials are needed to evaluate the effectiveness of [the treatment] in females.
Muller mentioned that he is working on a treatment for women but it is part of a different project. let us know what you think about this treatment for gaming addiction.