A Chinese teenager was so desperate to cure his internet addiction that his chopped his hand off, The Telegraph today reports. The 19-year-old, who comes from Nantong in the Jiangsu province, was later rushed to hospital.
Local broadcaster Jiangsu TV was first to cover the act and reported that the boy was sitting on a public bench when he severed his left hand. The boy’s mother went into his room late in the evening last Wednesday but found her son gone. He had left only a handwritten note on the bed.
The Telegraph writes that the boy, known only as “Little Wang,” took a kitchen knife with him when he snuck out of his home. After hacking off his hand he called a taxi to take him to A&E. The local TV station reportedly broadcast images of the bloody bench where it happened.
At hospital, surgeons managed to reattach his hand after it was found by police — but it’s not known whether the boy will be able to use it normally again. His mother said the family “cannot accept what had happened,” and remarked that the incident was “completely out of the blue.”
The boy is one of an estimated 24 million young people in China who are addicted to the internet. Many say the situation has reached epidemic. There are an increasing number of clinics and boot camps trying to stem the tide of obsessive online usage — a lot of which is centred on gaming. China was one of the first countries in the world to label the plight a clinical disorder.