There is a debate here around an article on a 16-year-old boy who was decided upon to an involuntary commitment (“tvångsvård”): Swedish teen sectioned over computer addiction
Shortly put: Växjö administration decided to take the kid in an “investigation home” (utredningshem – what’s the English word for that?) from home where he was sitting by the computer all the time and (dig this!) didn’t go to school for 3 years and was threatening with suicide if he had to leave the computer, according to the Sydöstran.
One user asks me: “what will happen if the kommun does nothing?”
Wait a little, let’s take it in order. Let’s see first what is happening at all.
1. What is the exact problem they are trying to solve?
That the boy won’t commit suicide? Then the correct solution is to take him away from the computer, right? Oh my, how ingenious!!!
That he goes to school? Why don’t they take him there then? Would be too simple…
That he stands up from the computer and does other things in life as well? Well, there is a reason (or there are several reasons) why he is not interested in other things in life, and to find out those by truly communicating with him, he doesn’t need to be taken away from his comfy environment to some freaking “utredningshem”. It would only take some competent person who understands a teenager of that age and knows how to speak with them.
“Computer addiction” is NOT a mental disease – if they want to study him for that. (The term “mental disease” is as big a bullocks as scientific it sounds, but don’t let me start on that topic right now, read this one, for example, about one of the greatest fraud of the past centuries, used by psychiatry) And unfortunately, this is what they will do with the boy…
2. After ALL the adults failed to do their jobs in the story, now they torture the kid. Bravo!!!
– The parents, as another commenter also put it: “were not reared in the right way, so how could they pass good morals, ethics, behaviors to their children! God help this society and the next generation!” The parents FAILED.
– The kid’s school. Do they have ANY responsibility for their student? Letting him to skip school for 3 YEARS??? All those teachers, the director, social worker or what have you, proved greatly incompetent, if they couldn’t achieve with the kid that he would go to school. Their diplomas (if they have any) should be investigated. The school FAILED.
– The school system. EVERY child is interested to learn new things, the young school kids are very eager to go to school and enthusiastic to improve every day. If this gets lost by the time a child reaches his teens, and the school can’t show anything that would be interesting to a young person, and the kid can’t see anymore why is it good for him to go to school, that school system, it’s subjects and methods suck, big time. This guy probably would have been much better off with home schooling, specialized on his course of interests, focusing on his purpose of what he wants to do in life, than having to sit in a course room and learning things he most probably will never ever use in his entire life – just because of the that’s the way schooling is supposed to be done, period! attitude and rules. School system FAILED.
– The social service worker who was appointed last year to help the family with this issue. Not even worth the time spent on mentioning this person. It is already way too bad that he got paid by the state for not being competent. The social service guy (and the social service) FAILED.
– The community. Apparently there was NOT ONE PERSON amongst the boy’s school mates and other friends, relatives, the parents’ friends, neighbors etc who, through the years really cared for this child and had a good chat with him. The community FAILED.
BRAVO. We have a lonely kid who couldn’t talk about his problems with anyone for a way too long time, because all the people around him were incompetent and/or didn’t really care – so now of course, we have to punish him for that!
Instead of treating this young boy as a sentient and intelligent human being and trying to talk with him as such, about what he really wants to do, what are his interests, what is the exact problem he is trying to resolve by escaping into the computer, etc (which would be the only constructive solution), let’s treat him as a soulless and stupid animal: using mere authority (law, court decision) and physical force, incarcerate him, investigate his brain functions (just how they do it with rats), then let’s come up with the “obvious” finding that yes, he suffers from extended computer addiction, categorized under the catalogue number of ……, let’s give him a case number and a good dose of any of those drugs that will “help to correct the chemical imbalance in his brain” and which drugs very often have suicidal side effects, and that is for real and not just threatening with it.
For this is what lies behind the revered terms “special care”, “expert care”, “special attention” etc, in context with mental health.
Time to wake up, Sweden, if you want to have future generations.
ps: oh, the human rights aspects of involuntary commitment should be also mentioned…
ps 2: we don’t know from the news story what was the kid doing on the computer: downloading pirate stuff, watching movies, and so on, no hint. Who knows, maybe he was educating himself about computers, to become a programmer…
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