Hooked painfully to video games for 15 years, a young man of Thetford Mines in the Chaudière-Appalaches believed that this time was behind him, but the confinement of the COVID-19 has been recalled to his demons.
Fortunately, William Carrier, 29 years, today begins to pop its head out of the water, but the months of march and April have been difficult.
“I work in the health field and I couldn’t see anyone. It has once again become my escape. As soon as I was not working, I “gamais”,” said the one who had done therapy, three years ago, to resume his life in his hand.
Between his exit from the house help and the beginning of the crisis of the COVID-19, William Carrier was spinning the perfect happiness. It doesn’t play video games at the occasion with his best friend. During this period, he returned with his family and he began working as a maintenance officer in the CISSS of Chaudière-Appalaches.
This job that he loves, Guillaume Carrier has failed to lose during his fall, so his bosses did not recognize him anymore.
“People still tend not to take the cyberdépendance seriously. To also have had drug problems, I can say that for me, the video games, it is even more addictive, even more soothing. It gives us self-confidence because they will become good in the game that we play but, in reality, it is just good in our parallel world,” insisted the young man in Thetford Mines.
Stories like this, experts in cyberdépendance fear to hear more in the coming months.
“For the moment, there is no study that shows that the containment will increase in the case of cyberdépendance, but it is certain that it is a fear that we have,” assured Michael Hathaway, director general of the Clinic New Start on the island of Montreal.
For prevention, the therapy center will also deploy a campaign on the web and radio to publicize its services, both to those who are unable to secure screens for their family and friends.
For the time being, a bed 20 in this clinic is held by someone who has a problem cyberdépendance.
“Unlike the game or to the drug, many people who suffer from cyberdépendance do not realize it. This is a problem that remains undiscovered”, has qualified Michael Hathaway.
Video games: the heart of the problem
While canadian teens spend an average of seven hours per day in front of a screen, it can be difficult to separate the cyberdépendants of those who are not.
“This is not so much the time that one spends on the screens that matter. We speak of cyberdépendance when the activities on the screens at the expense of other interests in the lives of the people. When one puts all his eggs in the same basket”, has defined Jacob Amnon Suissa, a professor at the School of social work, UQAM.
The author of a book on the subject, he is convinced that this is not telecommuting, distance learning courses, or the increased use of social networks that are likely to pounce the case of cyberdépendance during the pandemic. For him, the real problem is loneliness, which leads many people to play compulsively playing video games.
In April, at the height of the crisis, the spending related to video games had increased by 73% compared to the same month last year in the United States, according to an analysis by the NPD Group.
Guillaume Carrier, he doesn’t hide it: he managed to regain control by returning to the speaker that he had known her in therapy three years earlier.
“This therapy has saved my life,” he wanted to say as a message for those who are reluctant to seek help.