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Spain reports first adolescent hospitalization due to video game addiction

Spanish doctors hospitalized a teenager for two months due to addiction to video games.

Writes about this El Pais.

A team from the Castellon Hospital has published the world's first clinical case of a minor who was hospitalized for gambling addiction.

Symptoms that led to hospitalization were associated with severe behavioral addiction to the video game Fortnite and included isolation at home, withdrawal from social interactions with refusal to go to medical facilities, low interest in their surroundings, very selective attention to their tastes, and limited activities.

It is reported that the teenager previously had a very high academic performance, but since the beginning of the year, there has been a greater number of absences from school, violations of rest and sleep schedules.

According to doctors, addiction to video games arose due to the recent loss of a relative and feelings of anxiety. The game distracted from the grief of loss and became a "haven for emotional distress."

The medics worked with both the teen and his family to help develop personal skills, manage contingencies, and create daily guidelines. It helped the patient "appreciate the impact that the use of the video game had on his daily life," they said, and "it allowed him to express mourning over the death of his relative."

Internet addiction was defined as a "behavioral disorder" in 1995. WHO also listed the disorder as a mental illness in 2018. Experts do not believe that video games are a problem in and of themselves, their correct use may have educational and social benefits, and may even be therapeutic for some disorders.

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