'Playstation Addiction' Forces Child into Hospital
A 13 year old Italian boy, Lorenzo Amato, was admitted into a local hospital after showing stroke-like symptoms, Ananova has reported. The doctors at Italy's Lecce hospital said Amato couldn't speak. They thought he could have had a severe brain disorder after the youngster didn't understand anything that was going on around him.
Later the medics learnt that he'd been playing on his Sony Playstation for an unbelievable amount of time; a "marathon session" in fact.
The news travelled fast and a local politician, Antonio Buccoliero, was concerned for the boy. After speaking to the doctors Buccoliero said "They eventually managed to take care of him once they understood that this was a strange kind of mental detachment connected to his Playstation."Nevertheless, the teenager, Amato, told his father to throw out the console and games, and stated "If I even think about it I want to throw up."
It's a sad time when children are being affected mentally by video games. They are supposed to be seen as a source of entertainment, pleasure, and nowadays even education (video games not children). What would happen to the industry if this changed and we started to see video games as an addictive influence like smoking or alcohol?
Back in 2006, a clinic for addicted gamers was opened in the Netherlands. An eight week program was started by the ‘Smith and Jones' addiction consultancy, with the knowledge of around 20% of gamers, including some children, could develop a dependency on their gaming habits. They say that this compulsion resembles symptoms of gambling addicts and risk damaging relationships, health, education and their careers. One patient said "I have no social life; I have no friends - only cyber-friends"
The eight week service includes a detox period where the patients are not allowed any time with any video games. Group therapy sessions and time with psychologists and psychiatrists are then followed. The last, and could be seen as the most important part, is to try to find a replacement hobby ‘to fill the void left by gaming.'
Mr Bakker, an addiction consultant at the Amsterdam clinic said "We help them find other ways to deal with life and they begin to develop true self esteem."