Beijing: Chinese hospitals will open special psychiatric units designated to treat internet addicts as a survey showed that 42% of youths in the Communist nation “felt” addicted to the Web.
China is on track to become the first nation to officially recognise internet addiction as a clinical disease as increasing number of youths in the Communist country spend most of their time in chatrooms, blogging or playing online games.
Tao Ran, an expert at Beijing’s Military General Hospital, which drew up the diagnosis, said Chinese hospital will open special units to treat internet addiction after surveys revealed that over four million teenagers spend more than six hours a day online.
“Eighty percent of addicts can be cured with treatment, which usually lasts about three months,” said Tao. The manual was drawn up by psychologists who studied 1,300 “problematic” internet users. One-tenth of surfers under 18, or four million people, are addicted, mainly to online gaming, Daily Telegraph said today.
Meanwhile, a poll by InterActiveCorp, an online media company, showed that 42% of Chinese youths “felt” addicted to the Web, compared to 18% in the US.
Gao Wenbin, a researcher with the psychology institute of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said Chinese youths were finding refuge online from the pressures of being the only child in the family. “Most children in China are the only ones in their families. They are told only to study hard, but no one really cares about their needs,” he was quoted as saying by the British daily.
The Communist government has attempted to check “problematic” internet users by incorporating software into games which kicks players off after five hours.