In a desperate attempt to cure himself of his internet addiction, a Chinese teenager simply chopped off his own left hand. The 19-year-old, from the city of Nantong, in Jiangsu province, took the drastic measure last week.
“We cannot accept what has happened,” said the kid’s mother, who refused to be identified. “It was completely out of the blue. He was a smart boy.” She had gone to her son’s bedroom at 11pm last Wednesday, only to find him missing from his bed. Instead, she found a handwritten note that said: “Mum, I have gone to the hospital for a while. Don’t worry, I will definitely come back this evening.”
In the meantime, the boy had snuck out of the house with a kitchen knife. Once safely out of sight, he severed his left hand at the wrist. He then called a taxi to take him to a nearby Emergency Room, leaving the hand lying on the ground.
The hand was later retrieved by the police, and surgeons at a local university hospital managed to reattach it. But they said that they could not guarantee full mobility would be restored.
When local TV stations caught wind of the story, they promptly paid a visit to the bench where the boy had cut off his hand. Gory images of the bloodstained bench were then repeatedly broadcasted on the news.
According to experts, China with its 649 million internet users, is in the midst of a major internet addiction epidemic. Reports suggest that there are nearly 24 million young ‘web junkies’ in the nation. A growing number of military-style boot camps have been designed to rehabilitate internet addicts.
Photo via BGR
Tao Ran, an army psychologist who runs one such rehab center in Beijing, estimated that around 14 percent of China’s youth are hooked. Some of them skip school to stay online, while others are so severely addicted that they rarely leave their bedrooms. “They only do two things: sleeping and playing,” said Tao Ran.
“I heard about the young man who chopped off his hand,” he added. “But I fear he will become addicted again.”