A Chinese teenager reportedly chopped off his own hand with a kitchen knife to “cure” his internet addiction.
The 19-year-old gamer received treatment at a local hospital in Nantong, Jiangsu province, as a result of cutting off his left hand while sitting on a park bench after sneaking out of his home. He apparently called a cab to take him to the hospital afterward. Surgeons there reattached the hand, fortunately, but it’s as yet unclear if the teen, identified by news outlets as Wang, will regain full use of the appendage.
“One of the boy’s teachers, who was not named, blamed his actions on an internet addiction which had made him ‘impetuous,'” the London Telegraph reported. Added the teen’s mother, “We cannot accept what has happened. It was completely out of the blue. He was a smart boy.”
“Images of the bloodstained bench where the teenager allegedly performed the self-amputation was broadcast on local television,” London’s Daily Mail stated.
In this instance, the cure was obviously worse than the disease. That being said, apparently, internet addiction is a huge problem in China, with about 24 million youngsters considered stone-cold web junkies, primarily from the gaming cohort. This has led to a burgeoning industry in clinics and boot camps that specifically function as rehab centers for under-18 internet addicts in China.
According to one internet addiction expert in China, “Symptoms ranged from young people who skipped lessons at school to others who were so severely addicted that they rarely left their bedrooms and inhabited an almost entirely virtual universe.”
With regard to the rehab issue, as the Inquisitr previously reported, internet addicts and substance abusers allegedly have something in common: withdrawal symptoms, a European study concluded. “Although we do not know exactly what Internet addiction is, our results show that around half of the young people we studied spend so much time on the net that it has negative consequences for the rest of their lives. When these people come off-line, they suffer increased negative mood — just like people coming off illegal drugs like ecstasy,” remarked one of the researchers.
In October 2012, the American Psychiatric Association took preliminary steps to classify internet addiction or internet-use disorder as a full-fledged, official disease as set forth in an international mental health encyclopedia used by healthcare professionals around the world.
Setting aside for a moment whether this teenager actually chopped off his hand to cure himself of internet addiction, do you think obsessed online gamers or other electronic device users should enter rehab for treatment?
[image via Shutterstock]