China classes Web addiction as clinical disorder

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China classes Web addiction as clinical disorder

Internet addiction has been branded a clinical disorder by psychologists in China, adding fuel to the global controversy on whether or not incessant Internet use should officially be recognised as a mental disorder.

According to China Daily, the Chinese Ministry of Health is now expected to approve a manual which reckons lingering online for over six hours a day – for purposes which are neither work nor study related – and feelings of stress when unable to get online, are two of the most telling symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD).

Other symptoms include becoming an Internet shopaholic, excessive online gaming, frequently watching Internet pr0n, and spending ridiculous amounts of time social not-working.

It’s not the first time the idea of Internet addiction has been floated. A while back an editorial in the American Journal of Psychiatry made the case that Internet addiction was a common compulsive-impulsive disorder which should be classed by physicians as a mental illness.

US researchers reckoned more than one in eight Americans showed at least one symptom of Internet addiction and claimed some Web surfers had already starting seeking out medical help.

In China, the situation is apparently even more severe with approximately 10 per cent of the country's 40 million under 18-year-old surfers supposedly 'addicted', according to a report conducted by by the National People's Congress Standing Committee.

Another study last year by Internet media outfit, InterActiveCorp, showed 42 percent of Chinese youth polled claimed to feel 'addicted' to the Internet, compared with just 18 per cent of their American peers.

And China’s solution to all this? Well, any citizen who feels he might just break into a sweat if he can’t get online can check in to Internet rehab boot camp for counselling, prescription drugs, hypnosis, rigorous discipline and electric shock therapy.

Think we’ll just learn to live with our addiction, thanks.
theinquirer.net (c) 2010 Incisive Media
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