Doctors and researchers from Castellón, Spain, published the first known clinical case in the world of an adolescent, a minor, who had to stay for two months hospitalized for a serious addiction to the Fortnite video game.
The child showed rejection of social interactions, resistance to going to health services and little interest in his environment.
These were the symptoms that alarmed the family, as explained in a statement by the Universitat Jaume I (UJI) of Castellón. They then found that he presented alterations in the performance of the basic activities of daily life such as in the rhythm of sleep.
“It was a minor with a very high previous academic performance. The family had observed from the beginning of the beginning of the year greater absenteeism from school, “the scientists explained.
After being evaluated, the professionals stated that the addiction to video games acted as compensation for the intense distress over the loss of a family member and because of the anxiety derived from the increase in the level of demand in the educational context.
Treatment for Fortnite addiction
The researchers highlighted two potentially addictive aspects of Fornite: lthe imposition of deadlines to meet the challenges of each season and not lose progress, and access to live streaming platforms that show people playing while discussing their strategies.
The treatment adopted had an intensive multidisciplinary approach, from a cognitive-behavioral approach.
“We work with both the patient and his family and, at the same time, we implement intervention strategies such as cognitive restructuring, development of personal skills, contingency management and establishment of guidelines on a daily basis,” the report details.
At the end of the treatment, the patient was able to understand “the negative repercussions that the use of the video game” was having on his daily life. “It allowed him to address the mourning for the death of his family member and to understand how the use of the game served as a refuge for his emotional distress, “comment the researchers.
The results showed a significant decrease in the use of screens -in a first phase after hospitalization, with supervision-, as well as an improvement in the patient’s social functioning.
Video game disorder
Internet addiction was proposed as a “behavior disorder” in 1995 and in 2010 it was defined as “the loss of control that generates the appearance of adverse behaviors.”
The WHO also included the disorder in 2018 by video game among mental illnesses. The specialists do not consider that video games pose a problem in themselves, Rather, its proper use can have benefits in the educational and social fields and can even be therapeutic for some disorders.
However, professionals consider that there are indicators of abuse in the consumption of video games: social withdrawal, poor academic performance, the existence of psychopathological problems (depression, perfectionist or obsessive personality) and socio-family problems, little parental control or external stressors).