According to CH3 Thailand, the man, identified as Sak Duanjan, returned drunk to his home in Sisaket in northeast Thailand and immediately started playing an online game on his cellphone loudly on the night of June 12.
His stepfather, Chakri Khamruang, woke and turned off the Wi-Fi, sparking an altercation, according to the report. Khamruang said he had to slap his stepson to get him to calm down after he went on a rampage, punching walls and cursing the family.
Eventually, Duanjan calmed down and fell asleep.
But the next morning, when his mother, Suban Duanjuan, went to draw water to cook rice, she discovered that pesticide was floating in the water of the garden well, reported the Daily Mail.
According to Kompas, she later recalled seeing Duanjan heading down to the well in the early hours of the morning.
“I asked what he was doing, but he just kept quiet and returned to his room. So I just let it go and went back to sleep,” Suban said.
The family called the police, according to the Mirror, and her son allegedly admitted to them that he had put the pesticide in the water supply.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) June 17, 2019
His mother said that when he lost his temper in the past, they had simply tolerated it. “However, this time he has gone too far,” she said.
His mother said that she hoped the authorities would provide some kind of rehabilitation, “because we don’t want to live in fear he will repeat his actions.”
“He played too much on cellphones. I think that made him depressed,” she said. “Now, he is an adult, so it is increasingly difficult to stop.”
According to CH3 Thailand, the family later decided not to pursue criminal prosecution, although that option remains open to the authorities.
Gaming Addiction Gets Official Recognition
The growing use of computers, smartphones, and gaming devices in recent decades has left many parents worried about the potential impact on health, as studies lag behind tech development.
Last year, the World Health Organization added “video gaming disorder” to its classification list of diseases, much to the disagreement of the video games industry.
The WHO classification lists three key symptoms.
“One is that the gaming behavior takes precedence over other activities to the extent that other activities are taken to the periphery,” Dr. Vladimir Poznyak, a member of WHO’s Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse, told CNN.
The second feature is “impaired control of these behaviors,” Poznyak said. “Even when the negative consequences occur, this behavior continues or escalates.”
For example, someone might refuse to eat or drink, despite being hungry and thirsty.
The third feature is significant distress and impairment in personal, family, social, educational, or occupational functioning, Poznyak said. The impact may include “disturbed sleep patterns, like diet problems, like a deficiency in the physical activity.”
Other studies have started to suggest that the ubiquitous screens could be damaging the development of young children.
A study last year published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed that a greater amount of screen time between the ages of 2 and 3 was associated with poorer developmental performance at ages 3 and 5.
“Screens have become a significant concern for parents, so we wanted to find out more about how screen time was impacting children’s developmental trajectories,” Sheri Madigan, assistant professor at the University of Calgary and the study’s lead author, told Healthline.
“We were particularly interested in the long-term impact of screens, which is why we followed children over time, from ages 2 to 5, and repeatedly assessed both screen time and children’s developmental outcomes.”
The study isn’t the first to show that too much screen time affects children’s development, but is the first to confirm its long-term effects.