He pretended to be sick to play, in addition to stealing his parents
Yohan Morin takes a walk near his home in Nicolet on the occasion of his first outing from the center where he is undergoing therapy.
A teenager who has already rummaged through the suspended ceilings of his home looking for his hidden console by his father will soon end a closed therapy for his dependence on the Fortnite video game .
Last summer, Yohan Morin spent nearly 18 hours a day on Fortnite . He neglected sleep, brushing his teeth and showering, and ate only one meal a day.
“I was not even able to put a stop to my game to go to the bathroom,” recalls the 14-year-old.
Yohan Morin was one of 250 million fans of the online shooting and survival game. Fortnite stopped working on Sunday, which has created distress on social networks for 2 days.
Yohan could have been one of those desperate youngsters, but he has been treated in closed therapy for his addiction since August 14th. The Journal met him with his father in Nicolet, Center-du-Québec, during his first home visit since the beginning of his therapy.
“I feel liberated from what I have been able to live, and have been able to give life to others,” said the teenager, yesterday, the day before his return to the Center, the Great Saint-Célestin Road, in the Center-du- Quebec.
He participates every week in four group meetings and a private meeting.
Simulate the disease
In the last year, the teen pretended to be sick to miss school and play. He spent all his pocket money, and even stole $ 400 from his parents.
His father had to confiscate his Xbox and concealed it in a suspended ceiling, but the teenager found it. For a month, he played when his parents were away, putting him back in the ceiling before they returned.
He was isolating himself from everyone, was aggressive, and nothing but his console mattered. At a certain point, it was enough for his father, Stéphane Morin.
“I did not give him the choice. It was either he went to therapy or he went to foster care. I was no longer able to tolerate his way of being, “says the father.
Before bringing his brother
The teenager realized however that he had a problem a week before he left for the therapy, when he found that his seven-year-old brother was copying his behavior.
“I brought him into my cyberdependence,” he grieves.
Once in the center, he realized he does not need Fortnite to value himself and get in touch with others.
“Yes, I have problems, but everyone has them. I realized I was able to talk about it, “he says.
Some sixty teenagers have been welcomed to the Grand Chemin for four years for an Internet addiction. Teens are received by the health network and therapies are free.
HE WANTS TO RAISE AWARENESS OF OTHER YOUNG PEOPLE
Yohan Morin finishes his closed therapy on October 25 and there is no question for him to replay at Fortnite . He wants his testimony to help other young people get help.
The teenager does not anticipate too much contact with classmates who will always play. He planned to do sports activities at noon, a question of moving away from video games.
He continued his classes in French, English and mathematics at the center, but will have to catch up in the other subjects.
The challenge of return
The teenager will also have weekly meetings at Le Grand Chemin center for another four months.
It’s clear that going back to work can be a challenge, according to Miguel Thérriault, Coordinator of Professional Services at Le Grand Chemin.
“One of the difficulties is that they are constantly seeing people using the internet around them,” he explains.
He also states that behavioral weaning is different from what can be seen with alcohol or drug withdrawal.
“We are dealing with psychological symptoms, but they can still be important. We’re talking about difficulty getting sleep, anxiety, frustration and mental obsession, “he says.
Cyber addiction is not to be taken lightly, according to Yohan Morin’s father, who himself has been treated for alcoholism therapy. He urges parents not to trivialize the problem.
“It’s just as dangerous, you get into a spinning wheel that you can not go out on your own,” he says.
He believes the creators of Fortnite are responsible for the damage done to teenagers who can no longer stop playing.
To this end, let us recall that Quebec lawyers have prepared a request for collective action against the American company Epic Games, which they accuse of having created a game to make adolescents dependent.
For his part, Yohan Morin wants to send a message to the teenagers who will read this report.
“If there are people around him who tell him he has a problem, let him take the time to listen to them. He may not want to admit it, but he’ll have to admit it someday so he can get help, “he says.