Internet Gaming Disorder and Psychotic Disturbance in Adolescent: A Case Report

Lionel Eric, Azizah Saie


The revolution of internet has brought a significant impact in computer and communications. However, the advancement of technology has led to the occurrence of problematic internet usage which recently addressed as internet addiction. Awareness on this phenomenon should be raise in view of its high prevalence and the mental health effect to our child and adolescent population. We illustrated a case of Mr. AH a 16 years old, adolescent boy who presented with first onset psychotic disturbance, preceded by abrupt internet withdrawal. He has been playing internet games as early as 4 years old, sub-sequently increased in frequency and amount of time spent on it. This has led to poor academic performances, and impairment in his social functioning. He was not able to stop his gaming behavior and there were 2 episodes of abrupt withdrawal which has resulted in the manifestation of withdrawal symptoms (first episode by low mood and the second episode by anxiousness, agitation and irritability) and followed by psychotic disturbances; hallucinations and disorganized behaviour. Mental state examination revealed a cooperative, but a highly distractible adolescent with hallucinatory behaviour. His speech was minimal, otherwise relevant and coherent. Other systems review was normal. Blood investigations were within normal parameters and drug screening was negative. CT brain is reported to have significant abnormalities. Treatment with antipsychotics was initiated, which has made him re-sumed school and remained in remission for 4 months at the time of this report was done. Internet gaming disorder may be a potential precipitant of psychosis in the vulnerable group. This phenomenon should be seen as equally heavy as substance use disorder knowing its impact on mental health.

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Internet Gaming Disorder; Psychosis; Adolescent

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