Switzerland opens first clinic for TikTok addicts

The Local Switzerland
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Switzerland opens first clinic for TikTok addicts
Help is available for TikTok addicts. Photo: Pixabay

Faced with growing demand, an establishment for young adults addicted to the social media app TikTok has opened in Switzerland.


Usually the word ‘ addiction’ is associated with substances like drugs or alcohol, but other forms, such as behavioural addictions, can be just as dangerous.

TikTok falls into the second category.

A video sharing app that works like a social media platform, TikTok is one of the most popular apps among 12 to 19 year olds, according to a study from the University of Zurich.

A number of these young users make “problematic use” of this and other social networks, to the point of needing psychological help, the study revealed.

To help these youths break the habit, a new rehab facility recently opened in the town of Thun, in the canton of Bern.

The clinic – which offers 30 places – is already fully booked and has a waiting list of several weeks.

Tiktok addiction

“Tiktok is an ‘attention vacuum cleaner',” according to Stephan Kupferschmid, the clinic’s chief physician.

“You do something even though it’s not good for you because the short-term kick outweighs the long-term consequences,” he pointed out.

“Ultimately, this is a typical feature of addiction.”


Sport instead of TikTok

The therapy at the clinic involves finding healthy alternatives, such as sports and art activities, to replace time devoted to social media.

The goal is to help young people learn how to organise their everyday lives without TikTok and other social media "consumption."

"Young people particularly benefit from an age-specific therapy,” Kupferschmid said.


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