Swedish teen sectioned over computer addiction

Peter Vinthagen Simpson
Peter Vinthagen Simpson - [email protected]
Swedish teen sectioned over computer addiction

A 16-year-old boy from southern Sweden has been taken into care after missing school for three years due to a chronic addiction to his computer, the local Sydöstran daily reports.


The boy's computer habits have reached the stage where he threatens suicide if he were to be moved from his home and if a normal way of life were to be imposed upon him, the newspaper writes.

Växjö administrative court has now ruled that the boy should be sectioned under the act providing for the involuntary treatment of young people (LVU) as he had illegitimately skipped school since the spring of 2007 and there was considered to be a significant risk to his health and well-being.

The boy's parents were assigned a social worker in 2009 to support them in raising the child but they have not been able to impose limits on him and his behaviour has progressively begun to take over the family.

The social services in Olofström near Karlshamn submitted a request to the court to impose the order of involuntary care after an evaluation of the boy's situation in December 2009 showed that he had neither attended school nor shown any interest in home schooling.

The social services argued that a psychological evaluation is required to determine whether he is in the process of developing an computer addiction, or already suffers from one.

The boy's social situation has suffered as a result of his condition and the social services and the parents now fear for his health as a series of voluntary measures have been rebuffed.

The teenager concedes that his relationship with his parents has been turbulent, saying that they mostly argue about the time he spends in front of the computer, the newspaper writes.

The boy however claims to be interested in his studies and has expressed a wish to complete his schooling in order to secure a place at a high school with the ambition of studying to become a computer programmer.

The Växjö court supported the social services' call for an expedient psychological evaluation in order to establish how the boy could be helped to cope with everyday life.


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