There are 632 million internet users in China – and 24 million of its children are thought to be hooked. China was the first country to recognize internet addiction as a clinical disorder. It has hundreds of rehab camps where concerned parents can send their web-dependent kids. The path to recovery isn’t easy but it is most effective, if the parents walk it with them.
A patient at the internet-addiction treatment centre in Daxing is wired up for EEG scans to measure brain activity. PHOTO: Fernando Moleres
‘Internet addiction leads to problems in the brain similar to those derived from heroin consumption. But, generally, it is even more damaging. It destroys relationships and deteriorates the body without the person knowing. All of them have eyesight and back problems and suffer from eating disorders. In addition, we have discovered that their brain capacity is reduced by eight per cent, and the psychological afflictions are serious. If someone is spending six hours or more on the internet, we consider that to be an addiction.’ (Tao Ran, a psychiatrist and colonel in the People’s Liberation Army, who designed a treatment that combines military discipline with traditional techniques to overcome addiction.)
Inside the Chinese boot camp treating Internet addiction, an enlightening article in the subject in The Telegraph.