Computer games can become physically addictive
Berlin - Computer games carry the risk of real physical addiction, complete with all the classic symptoms of withdrawal, according to a German psychologist.
Addicts denied access to their games can display symptoms such as a racing heart or excessive sweating, says Klaus Woelfling, a psychologist and director of the Clinic for Gaming Addiction at the University of Mainz.
A problem exists when the player can no longer make rational decisions about the start, end or duration of games and feels an irresistible urge to play.
If friends or family see danger signs, they should broach the topic without making accusations. Many addicts don't feel comfortable discussing their problem, said Woelfling, who was quoted in an insurance industry trade magazine.
A good strategy is for concerned friends and family to tell the subject what they see. But the desire for change has to come from the individual, even if he or she is admitted to a clinic. (dpa)