A nine-year-old girl in rehab because of her extreme addiction to Fortnite, an increasingly popular video game endorsed by a slew of celebrities.
The girl is now in therapy after becoming so obsessed with the game that she stayed up the whole night to play and wet herself because she could not bear to leave the game to go to the bathroom.
9-Year-Old Girl Addicted To 'Fortnite'
As UK publication The Mirror reports, the girl's parents bought her an Xbox One console back in January, and she got Fornite shortly after. In March, it became apparent that the girl was addicted to the game, and it was affecting her life.
The parents became aware that something was wrong when the girl's head teacher called them to ask if everything was okay at home, as the girl kept falling asleep in class and her grades were slipping.
When asked about this, the girl reportedly became aggressive and "unusually argumentative," and soon after she'd say that she's too tired for ballet lessons, gym, or church. Then, the parents noticed some monthly charges on their credit card and the girl admitted that she made some Fortnite purchases.
Fortnite is free to play, but the video game allows players to make in-game purchases to improve their performance. Hooked players buy various items, and kids might be more susceptible to it.
Girl's 'Fortnite' Addiction Leads To Urine-Soaked Pillows, Aggressiveness
When they found out that the girl spent roughly £50 or about $67 per month on Fortnite, the parents decided to take away her console. The girl got angry and aggressive and hit her father in the face.
The parents limited her video game playing time to just one hour on school nights and two hours on weekends, hoping that the situation would improve. However, the girl would wait every night until her parents went to sleep, then she would stay up until dawn to play Fortnite. Her father found her one night hooked to the game, sitting on a cushion soaked in her urine.
"We had no idea, when we let her play the game, of the addictive nature or the impact it could have on her mental health," says the girl's mother.
'Ban It Before It Becomes An Epidemic'
The girl is now in therapy and her parents hope that she will soon overcome her addiction and be able to live a normal life again.
"This is a serious issue which is destroying our little girl's life and someone needs to step in to ban it before it becomes an epidemic."
Steve Pope, an addiction counselor who is working with the girl, says that this issue is becoming increasingly popular. Pope says that dozens of parents have contacted him in the past couple of months, asking for help because their kids seemed addicted to Fortnite. Some of those kids were as young as eight, Pope notes.
The counselor highlights that he's never seen such a thing in his three decades of practice. The issue is widespread and can prove to be quite damaging for affected kids.
Mentioning other such cases, Pope says that other addicted kids are failing their exams, stealing money from their friends and family to make in-game purchases, or urinate in bottles so they wouldn't have to leave the game to go to the bathroom.