German study takes a new approach to dealing with a modern disease.

A European study has found a type of psychotherapy developed for people with substance abuse is remarkably effective in men with internet and gaming addiction.

Led by Klaus Wölfling of the University Medical Centre of the Johannes Gutenberg-University Mainz, Germany, it is the first ever randomised multi-centre trial of internet addiction, recruiting 143 men from towns in Germany as well as the Austrian capital Vienna.

In May, the World Health Organisation recognised gaming disorder as a modern disease, voting to add it to the latest version of the International Classification of Diseases.

The bible of psychiatric diagnoses, the DSM-5, also describes gaming disorder in its most recent 2013 edition, but the evidence at that time fell short for calling it a unique disorder.

In the latest study, the researchers drew on both sources to set benchmarks for the illness, which include a preoccupation with gaming, withdrawal symptoms such as anxiety when it is taken away, a need to spend more time gaming to satisfy the urge, losing interest in other activities, and risking the loss of a job or relationship.

Read the full article in Cosmos magazine here