A stark warning to parents of adolescents this week as a report came out about the case of a teenager who spent two months in hospital to treat his addiction to the computer game Fortnite.
Believed to be the first case in the world of the hospitalisation of a minor for computer game addiction, the news has come to light after a Castellón team treating the boy published a report about the case. The report by the doctors from the Hospital Provincial, the Universitat Jaume I and the Hopsital General, was published in the magazine Psiquiatría Infanto-Juvenil.
The boy, who had previously got very good marks at school, would spend up to 20 hours a day playing the game and removed himself from social interaction, stopped going to school, refused to go to doctors’ appointments and even neglected his personal hygiene in order to keep playing the game.
The youngster, who was suffering the loss of a family member, used the game as a refuge, immersing himself in it, the report’s authors said.
in order to treat his severe addiction, the team of doctors needed to separate him completely from screens but as part of his rehabilitation he was allowed to use them again, but only under strict supervision and in order to begin reconnecting with people of his own age.
The healthcare professionals have warned of the early use of videogames and the need for “clear, well-defined limits” and to encourage youngsters to find “other sources of satisfaction”. They also suggest creating spaces of family interaction to enjoy group activities together and restricting devices in the bedrooms of youngsters.