RESEARCHERS in Valencia have registered the first clinical case in the world for video game addiction.
A team of specialists from the Provincial Hospital of Castellon, the Jaume I University and the General University Hospital have recently made public the first clinical case in the world of a minor seriously addicted to a video game.
The teen, from the municipality of Castellon in Valencia, was so hooked on Fornite that he had to be hospitalised for two months, after which he was placed on an intensive rehabilitation programme for eight months.
According to the report, the minor, who had excelled academically until recently, had developed an addiction to the video game ‘Fortnite’ following the death of his mother.
He presented symptoms such as home isolation, rejection of social interactions, little interest in his environment and refusal to go to health services.
All previous attempts by the family to seek medical help had been unsuccessful.
According to Matias Real-Lopez, coordinator of the programme for severe mental disorder in childhood and adolescence in Castellon, the minor had been taken to ‘different outpatient clinics’ to no effect.
“When these resources failed in a staggered manner, it was decided, together with the family, to admit the boy for a detoxification of screens, as if it were an addiction to a chemical substance,” Real-Lopez said.
The treatment began with two months in hospital, divided into two phrases.
The first, through an intensive multidisciplinary approach where the boy was isolated from his usual environment in order to get away from the problem and to work on all the issues related to the addiction and to understand that the use of the game had begun as a haven for his emotional distress following the death of his mother.
The teen was then gradually reintegrated into his environment, briefly leaving the hospital ward to meet with his family, for brief visits to his home, his room, the computer and the environment where he used to play.
After the two months of hospitalisation, the minor continued with an intensive eight month rehabilitation programme and has finally been discharged from all resources, reintegrating into his previous daily life and normalised educational environment.