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Psychiatr Prax. 2010 Jul;37(5):219-24. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1248442. Epub 2010 Jul 1.

[Internet- and computer game addiction: phenomenology, comorbidity, etiology, diagnostics and therapeutic implications for the addictives and their relatives].

[Article in German]

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Universitätsklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie Tübingen, Sektion Suchtmedizin und Suchtforschung, Tübingen, Germany.



Excessive and addictive internet use and computer game playing is reported as an increasing problem in outpatient care. The aim of this paper is to give an overview about the current scientific discussion of the overuse and addiction of internet and computer game playing.


Pubmed was used for a systematic literature research considering original papers and review articles dealing with Internet/computer game addiction.


Recent epidemiological data from Germany suggest that 1.5-3.5 % of adolescent computer and internet users show signs of an overuse or addictive use of computer and video games. Moreover there is evidence that the disorder is associated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, as well as lower achievements e. g. at school. Although the nosological assignment still remains unclear there is some evidence from neurobiological data that the disorder can be conceptualized as behavioral addiction. As treatment strategy CBT-techniques have been proposed, but there is still a lack of controlled clinical trials concerning their efficacy.


Since the addicted persons often show little motivation for a behavioural change we consider it a promising approach to treat and train their relatives with the aim of increasing the motivation for a behavioural change of the addicted person.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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