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Anti-Depressants Used Against StarCraft Addiction

Soulskill posted more than 3 years ago | from the oh-science-what-won't-you-try dept.

Medicine 258

dotarray writes "Hope may be at hand for the poor souls addicted to video games. Recent research from South Korea has shown that a common anti-depressant, Bupropion (sold as Welbutrin, Zyban and Voxra) can 'decrease craving for Internet game play' as well as the brain activity triggered by video game cues. This is a drug often used to help quit smoking, to lose weight or to recover from drug addiction, in addition to typical anti-depressant and anti-anxiety uses. And, with Korean scientists already on-board, how better to test this theory than to gather up a bunch of StarCraft players?"

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258 comments

How long afterwards does it last? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33329888)

Do the addicts stay off or do they simply get addicted to a new substance (anti-depressants)?

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (2, Funny)

arnoldo.j.nunez (1300907) | more than 3 years ago | (#33329926)

Do the addicts stay off or do they simply get addicted to a new substance (anti-depressants)?

I don't think you can get addicted to anti-depressants.

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33329950)

ya, not really.

also ADs normally get used in a controlled enviroment in together with a therapy, the aim is to help in therapy and to kick those ADs at some time off, when you are finished with therapy

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (3, Funny)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 3 years ago | (#33329954)

Cocaine is a pretty good anti-depressant.

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (5, Informative)

spopepro (1302967) | more than 3 years ago | (#33329962)

Cocaine is an excellent anti-depressant. Prozac and similar are Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors... Cocaine is a Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor. Not selective, and damn powerful.

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330010)

There's a world of difference between addicted and dependent. If you're using it for short-term off-label usage to kick an addiction (like smoking), you're unlikely to become dependent.

However, if you've got a wildly varying or raging depression going on, you're quite likely to become dependent, including physical dependency. (See SSRI discontinuation syndrome)

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330196)

Bupropion is not a SSRI - so there is no discontinuation syndrome. Also - it has little chance of being abused. Taking too much lowers the seizure threshold - it's not like people can get high off it. Plus - it has no sexual side effects like the SSRIs do.

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (1)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330456)

Plus - it has no sexual side effects like the SSRIs do.

Yeah uh, not quite true. They just go in the opposite direction. It's used often times to balance out other anti depressants because it can spike your libido.

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (1)

Bai jie (653604) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330994)

Sexual side effects? These people are addicted to a Video Game, they aren't getting any anyways.

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (2, Informative)

alannon (54117) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330388)

Just a note, Welbutrin isn't an SSRI, it's a completely different class of drug. Apparently it -does- behave in a similar manner to cocaine, though, but without any euphoria.

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330630)

similar manner to cocaine, though, but without any euphoria.

So it's got all of the downsides, but without the upside?

1. Develop drug that is just like cocain
2. Remove the main benefit of cocain, euphoria
3. Profit!

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (1)

kainosnous (1753770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330898)

It seems to me that /. folks have quite a lot of knowledge about anti-depressants and drugs in general. I'm not sure what that means, exactly.

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (1)

Magnum7385 (852146) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330926)

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (0)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330922)

There's a world of difference between addicted and dependent.

Wikipedia disagrees with you [wikipedia.org] : "Many people, both psychology professionals and laymen, now feel that there should be accommodation made to include psychological dependency on such things as [...] video games" in addiction's definition. I'd like a better citation so I can improve the Wikipedia article.

If you're using it for short-term off-label usage to kick an addiction (like smoking)

At least in the United States, smoking isn't off-label, and if this article is any indication, GSK has probably already started to prepare its application to the FDA for use of bupropion to treat computer-related addictions.

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (3, Funny)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330564)

10 I'm sad.

20 Take antidepressants.

30 Feel better.

40 Stop taking antidepressants.

50 Realize I'm addicted to antidepressants.

60 GOTO 10.

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (4, Informative)

pedantic bore (740196) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330600)

I don't think you can get addicted to anti-depressants.

Oh my, no.

I have a pal who forgot to take his Zoloft with him on vacation. The three days it took to refill his prescription were, according to him, horrible. He didn't suddenly get depressed--he got vertigo and his skin felt itchy and prickly. No fun at all.

When he finally came off the Zoloft, he had to be weaned off it, a little at a time. It look months IIRC.

If that's not physical addiction, I don't know what is.

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330932)

That not physical addiction, it is physical dependance. Its well known to any pharmacist that antidepressants should not be stopped suddenly. Your body gets used to them. They should always be stopped over time.

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (1)

f3rret (1776822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330924)

I don't think you can get addicted to anti-depressants.

Thats a goddamned lie.
I was on an SSRI (Citalopram) for a while, and once it came time to quiet I got the most annoying withdrawal symptoms. It took me well over two months to properly taper off the stuff.

So yeah, there's withdrawal.

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (3, Informative)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 3 years ago | (#33331068)

Addiction != Dependency

If you have a burning, nagging need for it, that's addiction.

If you simply get ill when you don't take it, that's dependency. They aren't necessarily intrinsic to each other, but that tends to be the case with most examples people are familiar with.

Sample Size (2, Insightful)

brainfsck (1078697) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330216)

How statistically significant were these results, given that the sample size was nineteen [nih.gov] ? I wouldn't be so quick to jump to conclusions considering the control and experimental groups must have included 10 or fewer people.

Re:Sample Size (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330338)

that's a standard suck it and see type sample size.

Sample size increasing over time (1)

tepples (727027) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330984)

How statistically significant were these results, given that the sample size was nineteen [nih.gov] ?

Significant enough to warrant another study with a bigger sample size. That's the nature of clinical trials: start small, and if you see any hint of an effect, repeat bigger. Then once your study has covered 1000 people, your new drug application is almost finished.

What about scores? (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330542)

Best outcome would be better scores and an end to the addiction, of course.

Re:How long afterwards does it last? (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330786)

Or for those of us who are skeptical about "videogame addiction", do they develop a real addiction to replace a fake addiction? For that matter, even if the drugs -aren't- really addictive, I guess they could be replacing a fake, socially unhealthy addiction with a fake, physically unhealthy addiction.

Anti-Depressants to lose weight (2, Insightful)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 3 years ago | (#33329896)

This is a drug often used ... to lose weight

Generally, antidepressants don't do this. Wellbutrin (from experience) also, does not do this. Which ones do?

Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33329920)

Being less depressed can often lead to living a more active lifestyle. Thus, they can be used to lose weight, but do not themselves cause weight loss.

Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (2, Insightful)

object404 (1883774) | more than 3 years ago | (#33329990)

Weight gain is a common side effect for *many* anti-depressants. Increased appetite and hunger is common.

Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (1)

Rising Ape (1620461) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330830)

Of course, weight loss is a symptom of depression, so is it a side effect or the drug working as intended?

Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330914)

OK, I used Zoloft.
There was a lot of stuff listed as possible side-effects. Mouth dryness and depression were among them. The only listed one that I experienced was "painful erection".

Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33329928)

oh yeah, wellbutrin does it.

the thing is, most ADs make you a fat fucker, (the atypical AD) wellbutrin stops your appetite, i mean if you still eat you dont magically loose weight ofc.

ive taken wellbutrin for like 1.5 years, my favorite AD so far, now i moved on to ritalin. diagnosed with ADD finally, the thing is, since wellbutrin worked so good for me, that helped in the diagnosis, wellbutrin does similar things like ritalin or similar substances.

Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (2, Funny)

Frosty Piss (770223) | more than 3 years ago | (#33329946)

the thing is, most ADs make you a fat fucker, (the atypical AD) wellbutrin stops your appetite, i mean if you still eat you dont magically loose weight ofc.

I think you must be thinking of amphetamines.

Welbutrin is often perscribed to quit smoking (ZyBan for example was specifically marketed for this purpose). I took it while giving up the Death Sticks, didn't effect my appetite at all. In fact after kicking the tobacco habit and while still on Welbutrin, I gained weight.

Well, that could have been because I replaced ciggies with malt liquor...

Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330028)

in fact you could even get tested positive for amphetamines while you are on wellbutrin...

Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330296)

No, Wellbutrin really does have nootropic-like effects. It's underreported for some reason but I'm pretty confident it's true based on personal experience.

Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330466)

You were going to gain weight from quitting smoking anyways - you probably gained less than you would have without the bupropion. Posting anon because I modded already.

Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330806)

Couldn't that have been due to the smoking? I thought smoking sped up your metabolism directly. Maybe welbutrin had no effect on your weight or actually helped, but other factors outweighed it?

We clearly need to do a control. Start smoking again...

Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33329936)

Healthy diet and exercise. Unfortunately, these aren't sold as pills, or at all in America.

Anti-depressants and eating habits (4, Interesting)

bipbop (1144919) | more than 3 years ago | (#33329994)

I've been on Zoloft twice. The first time, I gained quite a bit of weight. Serotonin plays a major role in appetite regulation. In my experience, that means the feelings of hunger and satiety change, and if you don't adapt to these changes, you might just end up eating a lot more! My eating habits were poor, and I indulged these habits a lot more without the normal feelings to guide me. I never adapted, and I blamed Zoloft for the weight gain.

Back on Zoloft, I've lost weight. About a year before starting Zoloft, I changed my diet completely and started exercising, and immediately began losing weight. While on Zoloft, that has continued (or perhaps accelerated a bit). Once again, my sense of hunger is a bit off, but with good eating habits in place, the only real difference is forgetting to eat sometimes.

Of course, I can't generalize from my experience to everyone. But I'd still suggest working on your eating habits before going on an anti-depressant, simply because it is helpful outside that context, as well :-)

Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (2, Insightful)

Brianech (791070) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330354)

Im on Citalopram for anxiety (had bad anxiety since I was a kid, but recently my doctor noticed my blood pressure is too erratic because of it). When I first started it I ended up losing 20 pounds due to the nausea. But once the side effects from starting the meds were gone, my weight returned to normal. I eat the same amount since the side effects stopped and personally dont think Citalopram would be responsible. But everyone is different, and I think its more personality that affects how you change with the drug. I drink more than I did before because I was so anxious about drinking. Same could go with people for eating. I dont think its the drug that does it, its how people who have dealt with anxiety/depression deal without it.

Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330554)

Weight gain is more common than loss with antidepressants. These drugs are far too risky to play with if you don't NEED them to live. A rarely encountered side effect (about 3%) is cognitive damage. That's how they hit me, and it's not fun to lose your ability to talk coherently, or write, or drive, or operate a bank machine, or think of the name of the street you live on...

Re:Anti-Depressants to lose weight (1)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330784)

Look at the studies. In general, Wellbutrin does decrease appetite leading to weight lose. Please don't think that your experiences can be extrapolated to everyone. Especially, when the evidence contradicts you.

Blizzard doged a bullet there... (2, Informative)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33329898)

Blizzard saw this coming, it was the only thing getting them off their asses for Starcraft 2!

It's great they have a "cure" for Starcraft addiction... too bad it took them 10 years to crack it, now Starcraft 2 is out with "super-extra-addiction" added!

Re:Blizzard doged a bullet there... (-1, Offtopic)

mabhatter654 (561290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33329902)

Wow, was that a fR1St Pr0st?

WooT!

Re:Blizzard doged a bullet there... (1)

RoFLKOPTr (1294290) | more than 3 years ago | (#33329940)

No. No it was not.

Re:Blizzard doged a bullet there... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330714)

Wow, you are retarded.

Re:Blizzard doged a bullet there... (1)

Nysul (1816168) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330240)

They definitely researched psychological reward systems when designing the game. First, you are highly encouraged to run through the campaign missions twice if you are running on normal difficulty, as each mission will typically only have a reward when unlocked on hard. Second, the multiplayer is highly designed around reward systems, from the initial low quantity of portraits, 50 game practice league matches before level-matchmaking starts (can be skipped, but you are highly encouraged not to), and the reward/achievement/portrait unlock system. I'm not knocking Blizzard for doing this, as the game is highly entertaining (at least for me), but I don't see an anytime in the future of me winning 1000 matches as protoss to unlock a bad-ass portrait, as I only game an hour or two each day. With all 3 campaigns a completionist is probably looking at several hundred hours.

really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33329922)

I'm currently taking Bupropion and I don't agree with this article... I've been playing Starcraft even more since I've been on it. Probably cause I'm not all depressed anymore

Re:really? (1)

SecondaryOak (1342441) | more than 3 years ago | (#33329996)

The medicine is intended to ease the withdrawal symptoms that appear while trying to abstain from playing your favorite game. Taking it by itself does not make you want to play less; taking it while already trying to play less will make you less depressed.

It goes both ways. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33329924)

And what about those of us who use Starcraft (2) [in a slightly-more-healthy manner] as a means to help treat our depression?

Re:It goes both ways. (4, Insightful)

Renraku (518261) | more than 3 years ago | (#33329988)

Speaking as someone who has battled with depression (without medication) for years, I can say that people who are depressed don't play video games to treat their depression. They play as a distraction. Instead of sitting there from 6pm until 10pm doing nothing, all you have to do is double click the icon on your desktop and you're in. Rather than having to find the motivation to see if anyone wants to go out. Rather than trying to find the motivation to go have a beer or go for a walk in the park. Rather than trying to find the motivation to hit the books and study for that exam.

One of the major points of depression is lack of energy/motivation. When I'm depressed, I have to force myself to follow my exercise routine. I have to force myself to go out. I have to force myself to do something OTHER than refreshing Reddit and Slashdot while WoWing it up. I enjoy those things, even while depressed, but the motivation to do them just isn't there.

Re:It goes both ways. (4, Insightful)

Zelgadiss (213127) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330116)

Been living with depression for quite a while now.

I didn't really have much motivation to do anything, video games seem to be the exception.

I think it's because they are psychologically addictive to some extend, they have a very well tuned effort / reward cycle.

Games like WoW gives you relatively achievable goals to get and rewards you with a sense of achievement when you complete them.
A nice escape from the feelings of powerless and hopelessness of real life.

Re:It goes both ways. (2, Insightful)

Urkki (668283) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330690)

When I'm depressed, I have to force myself to follow my exercise routine. I have to force myself to go out. I have to force myself to do something OTHER than refreshing Reddit and Slashdot while WoWing it up.

And if you succeed, you're not really depressed... Real depression is when you can't force yourself to get out of bed even to do the "distractions" instead of what you really really should get done today.

I think almost everybody sometimes has to force themselves to do what they need to do, even when that is enjoyable. Real depression is when, more and more often, you just can't. Your conscious mind says "now I get up and do this", but your body stubbornly doesn't obey but keeps doing whatever irrelevant it was doing, like writing to slashdot.

Re:It goes both ways. (1)

djconrad (1413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330336)

Oh! Starcraft 2 just leads me further into depression! Terrans are OP, and after I get whomped I look for whiskey, and if that's not around, the revolver!

Re:It goes both ways. (1)

gangien (151940) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330468)

fuck that. trying to beat the brutal campaign made me get depressed. i thought i was good at starcraft.

but i did atleast beat it. took a while and several save/loads. taking out fliers for the last mission is way easier too..

Thankfully, Internet porn addiction is still safe (1)

PatPending (953482) | more than 3 years ago | (#33329944)

Thank goodness no one has shown common drugs causing a decrease craving for Internet porn.

Re:Thankfully, Internet porn addiction is still sa (1)

MintOreo (1849326) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330036)

There is no real reason to want people to be addicted to porn unless you directly profit from it.

Re:Thankfully, Internet porn addiction is still sa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330112)

I would bet that the SSRI's sexual side-effects would decrease the craving.

Zoloft (5, Funny)

evwah (954864) | more than 3 years ago | (#33329982)

Zoloft rush kekeke ^_^

Re:Zoloft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330278)

I'm pretty good with Zyban, but I main Voxra. Welbutrin is OP.

Re:Zoloft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330350)

Six Zolofts rush in to a bar as soon as it opens, the bartender goes "You're early!"

Article so thin Kate Moss is disgusted (1)

spopepro (1302967) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330004)

I'd normally dismiss issues around "addiction" that isn't, but rather strong habits, but I'm all for research. Did anything actually happen here? I can't tell because the article is so bad.

Did the medicated group play while getting treatment? Would a forced break from playing cause the same effect? Control group? 6 weeks is a really short time to get acclimated to a new antidepressant, how about a follow up?

Bupropion is rarely used for anti-anxiety. As a dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor it has the tendency to increase anxiety. Another side effect is an increase in libido (and not a small one). They're probably all out getting laid instead of playing.

Re:Article so thin Kate Moss is disgusted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330034)

Bupropion is rarely used for anti-anxiety. As a dopamine and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor it has the tendency to increase anxiety.

According to WHO, Dr. Spopepro?

Re:Article so thin Kate Moss is disgusted (1)

spopepro (1302967) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330070)

Not Dr., but patient spopepro with the 5150 to prove it. It took a while to find the right meds, so I know the questions and indications of interest.

But not wanting to resort to anecdotes, how about the national library of medicine [nih.gov] . Scroll down to where it says "Bupropion is a monocyclic antidepressant structurally related to amphetamine." There are other references there as well.

Re:Article so thin Kate Moss is disgusted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330274)

So your singular personal experience allows you to pontificate? Perhaps you need something stronger than welbutrin.

even better (2, Funny)

yyxx (1812612) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330008)

I hear LSD, cocaine, and crack work even better to rid yourself of a StarCraft addiction.

Re:even better (1)

exasperation (1378979) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330018)

There have actually been cases of stimulant use by pro-league gamers to get a competitive edge. I recall debate on whether they should start testing for drugs...

Re:even better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330144)

ive got a lot better at fps games since being on ritalin.

Re:even better (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330732)

ritalin makes me horny as hell too

Re:even better (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330154)

Well, if they start drug-testing professional gamers, they might want to do the same for professional eaters--we all know what a good toke does for the appetite.

Re:even better (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330346)

what about professional wankers?
I know a few people who turn into complete wankers, just with a sip of beer.
No porn in site.

Re:even better (1)

Aeternitas827 (1256210) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330400)

If it's not on ESPN, or otherwise newsworthy, it's not a 'sport'...drug testing ceases to be an issue.

On an aside, if 'Major League Wanking' ever appears on ESPN (the normal ones; if it were on 'The Ocho', I might not care), I might shoot myself.

Re:even better (1)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330782)

I knew this chick once who must have been bombed on some upper one night. She messaged me to see about coming over. (Good news was I only lived a few miles away). Hell, before I could respond was a another flood of text. Followed by, "why haven't you responded yet.". It's not that I'm a slow typist, but from her secretary duties she was leagues ahead of me. With the amphetamines she was running pretty quickly up stairs too at the time.

You probably could do some damage in an RTS which has a primary limiting factor of being human.

Unfortunately, she never came over that night because someone stole her car. This is the fundamental problem of hanging out with bad people... they tend to do bad things.

How do they do it (1)

OrangeTide (124937) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330022)

How do they make games that are like crack to gamers? I have been playing SC2, I enjoy it. And I feel bad that I haven't actually gotten around to playing it this week. I was trying to get through a single player level once a day (plus meeting any normal achievements), but it's more like once a week now.

I like shitting on kittens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330032)

I use linux and it makes me want to shit every where, I also weigh 400lbs and will never get laid because my penis got chopped off by installing gentoo on my toaster.

Re:I like shitting on kittens (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330174)

'installing gentoo on my toaster' is a euphemism for 'fucking the base of the blender while turned on', isn't it?

really (1)

iccaros (811041) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330042)

A Shitty Dell Laptop cured me.. Can't finish the Single player and mutiplayer, well might as well forget that. 6 gigs of Ram Nvidia Card and Core 2 due can't stand up to SC2

Re:really (1)

McTickles (1812316) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330364)

If you can't get it to run properly on that you have major software config issues, or your laptop overheats.

Lets treat game addiction with drug addiction. (1)

S3D (745318) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330058)

Kind of like treating morphine addiction with heroin...

Re:Lets treat game addiction with drug addiction. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330086)

CTS [wikipedia.org] is a potentially fatal condition linked with game addiction. We need to give these gamers a chance!

Re:Lets treat game addiction with drug addiction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330190)

anti-depressants usually aren't addictive though, it is mostly benzos (for anxiety) that do that...

Re:Lets treat game addiction with drug addiction. (1)

Gaygirlie (1657131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330348)

anti-depressants usually aren't addictive though

Yes they are. After having eaten them daily for a few months you'll feel horrible if you don't get them for a few days. I happen to know first-hand.

Re:Lets treat game addiction with drug addiction. (1)

oliverthered (187439) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330358)

actually long term side effects (or short term in my case) are anxiety and depression. So they are addictive, or accumulative.

Withdrawal lasted for over 5 years after less than 6 months use.
Included not only the 'zaps' of brain and body, but also in the latter stages hallucinations.
And like any addict, when a trigger comes along (not 11 years later!), I still get the zaps and hallucinations.

Does Making It Difficult to Play Not Work? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330076)

The levels talked about in this study are not that high (at least 30 hours). I was mildly addicted to an MMO, about 1000 hours of playtime in a little under a year, and while I'm fully aware there are far more serious addictions than mine, for the average addict (which seems to be around what I was) I'm not so sure such drastic measures as anti-depressants are needed. In my worthless opinion, they should be testing anti-depressants on the severe cases, not the guy who just plays 4 hours a day.

Willpower does not work. I "just won't play today" always becomes "just an hour" which becomes "shit, it's 4 AM." A lot of people I know seem to never leave this stage, they just keep stringing it along, (it took me six months) you're not going to win it with your mind, you already lost, that's why you're an addict.

Instead, try creating a huge effort barrier to require you to play your game. Uninstall it, (or ask a friend too when you have one of those lucid moments when you really want to quit), remove your graphics card, and buy the shittiest one on the market so you can't play anything. This way, in order to play again, you have to go to the store and buy a new graphics card, remove the old one, install the new one, install drivers, and install/update/patch the game. Since this takes four hours of work, you will probably have another lucid moment during it to realize what you are doing and be able to stop.

At the risk of sounding like I'm on the high horse, please, try to rid yourself of your addiction with some reasonable steps first. Going as drastic as anti-depressants is risky, especially when for the average addict going that far probably isn't needed. Just my worthless opinion.

Posting anonymously since it's the only way I'd seriously talk about this.

For some, Vivid dreams (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330162)

I've tried a dozen different anti-depressants ( I'm off them now ) and nearly every one had
interesting side effects, usually effecting my sleep patterns. Bupropion was the ultimate
in this regard. My vivid dream advertures while under this little purple pill far exceeded anything
that some simple computer game could emulate. Fear, excitement, violence and lust in deep space,
forests, cities and other environments almost kept me sleeping 24/7. I can't count how many time
I awoke after a violent nocturnal emission while having imaginary sex with multiple partners
or via auto-fellatio. Keep away.

Re:For some, Vivid dreams (0, Offtopic)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330436)

those may indicate that you are a 'wanderer'. search for the word wanderer, and 'ra material'.

This guy could use some (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330286)

"Hope may be at hand for the poor souls addicted to video games"

Someone should give some drugs to this guy [slashdot.org]

Yes. It is much better that they watched TV (4, Insightful)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330326)

american idol, jeopardy, or similar other programs. doing that every night is so much more 'normal' and 'good'. its a good pastime habit ...

Ahhhh... (1)

dmitriy88 (1096195) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330330)

...that's the stuff.

Slashdot addiction? (1)

hatten (1640681) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330376)

Does it help curing addiction to slashdot? I want some...

Using drugs for addiction (1)

Robotron23 (832528) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330406)

One problem concerning Wellbutrin is its potential for addiction and recreational abuse>. [erowid.org]

It functions as an ADHD and depression medication, but is also used to treat stimulant withdrawal of cocaine and nicotine. Like it's hugely popular counterpart Ritalin at high doses (ie. crushed and snorted or intravenous) it can induce euphoria, but with risk of seizure.

Personally given the constant metaphorical references to videogames as being 'like a drug' it seems unwise to prescribe something like this to those addicted to Starcraft or a MMORPG. Alternatives like counselling, and intervention with a social emphasis would be a better route to head down first. The whole idea of ploughing people with pills en masse to remedy issues such as this where environmental and social factors are so prevalent isn't one I'd endorse.

A relative of mine works in a prison; they hand out 'Subutex' or 'methadone' like candy to withdrawing addicts of opium-based drugs like heroin. The prisoners often get hooked to Subutex itself, and most just go back to dealing or robbing soon after release.

Re:Using drugs for addiction (2, Interesting)

LiENUS (207736) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330430)

Wow... I don't think you'll find too many people abusing bupropion. I only met one person who ever tried to abuse it, and he only tried once... for good reason too. It has this nasty side effect of causing seizures if you take too high of a dose.

Re:Using drugs for addiction (1)

Robotron23 (832528) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330712)

Indeed; this was noted in my original post. The recreational potential is limited in part due to seizure factor.

Disregarding the limited (mostly anecdotal) evidence for recreational interaction of Wellbutrin with other drugs there's another point to make:

Here's the summary on PubMed.> [nih.gov]

Note that the study also encompasses total hours played and craving symptoms. How was gaining such information possible other than subjective accounts from the sampled?

Then there's the fact no placebo group was present: There were zero corresponding Starcraft players/addicts given a sugar pill and then shown the Zerg images to measure their reactions. So how do we know whether this was Wellbutrin or merely the study itself and circumstances surrounding it that triggered the difference?

whoa (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330424)

I just realized that it was soon after I started taking bupropion that I quit gaming regularly. I used to play nearly every night, typically for several hours. I haven't played any games in nearly two months. It's the longest I've gone since I first owned an NES as a little kid.

Re:whoa (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330520)

This article saved you.

In Soviet Russia, you save bupropion!

Ibogaine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330560)

They sould try Ibogaine. It's a psychedelic drug that can cure many addictions. And apart from that special effect, the psychedelic experience alone could help game addicts realize that real life is more important and, in fact, the greatest game of all.

uh... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33330758)

I'm pretty sure Wellbutrin does this to other people, to a lesser degree, but let me explain what it did to me (and it permanently affected me to some degree, although not as extreme as when I was on it) It made me have less passion, less desire to do everything. It made me more selfish and sociopathic. It made me only get pleasure from feeling superior to my previous self or other people. It made me more efficient and logical. It made me less empathetic and made it harder to deal with my highly emotional girlfriend. It's a yin/yang drug and it might fix their addiction to video games but it will probably cause them to be less passionate about everything and less insightful.

Different italics. (1)

ian_from_brisbane (596121) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330788)

I accidentally read the headline as:
Anti-Depressants Used Against StarCraft Addiction

This is actually a bit scary (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330818)

A drug that reduces both depression and the pleasure received from playing video games? How long before it becomes the most over-prescribed drug for teens and children? Maybe they'll even combine it with Ritalin to knock out that pesky daydreaming in class. There are way too many parents out there willing to try anything to help manage their kids (without actually spending time with them).

Re:This is actually a bit scary (1)

Raptoer (984438) | more than 3 years ago | (#33330892)

It doesn't reduce the pleasure received from playing video games, rather it works against the psychological addiction. It is already used as a smoking cessation aid. Doctors tend to be careful with depression medications given to patients under the age of 15, especially when it lowers the seizure threshold. Most parents would stop asking for it when told it can cause seizures (in ultra-high doses with patients that have a low seizure threshold naturally).

Re:This is actually a bit scary (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | more than 3 years ago | (#33331082)

"as well as the brain activity triggered by video game cues"

To me, that sounds like it reduces the pleasure/satisfaction received from playing the game, which would naturally reduce the chance of psychological addiction. That's a good point about the seizures, but the way you worded the risk makes it sound extremely low. I imagine trials will be tentative at first, but could pick up in popularity relatively quickly.

Zyban and Voxra (1)

mindwanderer (1169521) | more than 3 years ago | (#33331014)

Back in my WoW playing days, I met a guy that would name characters after AD drugs that he was taking / had taken before. I can totally see him taking this drug but then rolling a Voxra / Zyban orc alt and becoming even more addicted to the game.
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