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Indonesian Mental Hospital Treats Hundreds of Children Who Suffer from Device Addiction

March 23, 2021, 02.54 PM

BANDUNG, - The Covid-19 pandemic has driven up children's screen time. Children had to stay at home and do their learning activities from home, changes in lifestyle and social relationships resulting in increased anxiety in children and adolescents due to high devices addiction.

Director of the West Java Provincial Mental Hospital Dr Elly Marliyani said on Tuesday a total of 104 patients who had experienced gadget addiction received treatment at the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Clinic in 2020. Elly said most patients experienced mental problems and were affected by addiction to online games.

"In 2020, there were eight patients who had an addiction to gaming. From January to February this year, 14 patients were suffering from mental problems due to video games addiction," said Elly on March 23.  

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Meanwhile, the West Java Province Hospital Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Dr Lina Budiyanti, said that the increasing internet use was inevitable during the pandemic as the government urged people to do more activities at home and imposed social restrictions.

Lina explained that the effect of gadget addiction could cause mood or emotional changes including irritability, anger and boredom, sleep pattern disorder and poor sleep quality, depression and anxiety, and the risk of suicide.

"There are also physical problems, poor health conditions in general, malnutrition and excessive caffeine consumption, loss of friends in the real world, conflicts with family members, separation and divorce, damaged productivity and job loss and financial problems," said Lina.

Lina confirmed that online games caused the highest level of device addiction.

"The therapy provided can be counseling, psychotherapy, and in severe cases or symptoms of mental disorders, medication can also be given," she said.

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Lina went on to say that for prevention, several things that can be done. The first, is to limit the use of gadgets, the internet and games for children to no more than two hours.

"Then encourage children to use the internet for productive things, encourage children to do other activities, especially physical activities and other activities outside the house, reduce access to the internet by keeping gadgets away while in bed," said Lina.

"Treatment for internet addiction certainly requires collaboration between mental health professionals and families," said Lina.

(Writer: Putra Prima Perdana | Editor Farid Assifa)


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