South Korea Claims Success in Game Addiction Treatment with Antidepressants

South Korean psychiatrists claim that they have successfully treated game addiction with an antidepressant drug called Bupropion. The study was conducted by psychiatrist from the Department of Psychiatry at Chung Ang University – College of Medicine, used 11 participants that were "diagnosed" as having "Internet Game Addiction" because they played "StarCraft for 4 or more hours a day." Six of the eleven participants had skipped school for two months, while two of the participants had been divorced due to their addiction to StarCraft.

The entire group was treated with the antidepressant for six weeks. After the trial period, researchers say that their group’s cravings to play StarCraft apparently decreased by 23.6 percent and total playing time decreased by 35.5 percent. Researchers also conducted MRI scans on all of the subjects and discovered that their brains responded "less strongly" to pictures of Zerglings after taking the drug.

According to WebMD, Bupropion is the oral form of Wellbutrin, which is used to treat mood disorders and used as a tool to help people quit smoking. Here’s the full definition:

"Bupropion is an antidepressant used to treat a variety of conditions, including depression, other mental/mood disorders, and smoking cessation. Antidepressants can help prevent suicidal thoughts/attempts and provide other important benefits. However, studies have shown that a small number of people who take antidepressants for any condition may experience new or worsening depression, other mental/mood symptoms, or suicidal thoughts/attempts."

The possible side effects of using Bupropion include suicidal thoughts, changes in mood (anxiety, panic attacks, hostile or angry feelings), trouble sleeping, irritability, impulsive actions, severe restlessness and very rapid speech.


Source: Wired UK

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  1. 0
    josh111888 says:

     This is good.  If they can reproduce that with a sample size in the thousands, then the psychological community will realize that excessive gaming is not caused by the video games themselves.

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