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China could become first nation to make Internet addiction a medical disorder

China is expected to become the first country in the world to officially classify internet addiction as a mental disorder.  Chinese government officials would be required to register the term with the World Health Organization, which has seen an increased interest in internet- and game-related addiction.

Around 253 million of China's 1.2 billion population use the internet, with the number expected to grow as remote parts of the country build necessary infrastructure to support the internet.

Dr. Tao Ran studied at least 3,000 patients over a four-year period to help him classify internet addiction, which will be a condition similar to alcoholism or compulsive gambling.  

A person who spends at least 6.13 hours online each day can be considered an addict.  InterActiveCorp research indicates 42 percent of young internet users feel they are addicted to the internet, while only 18 percent of American youth feel they are addicted.

Around 50 percent of internet users in China are between the ages of 18 and 30.

Due to the exploding popularity of online video games, the government has urged game makers to create safeguards to better protect gamers.

"We took symptoms that appeared at the same time in more than 50 percent of patients and then we noted how frequently these same symptoms were repeated," he told the Times Online.  "China finds itself at the forefront of this research because we were among the earliest to set up clinics ... we had a sufficient sample of patients so that we could carry out proper scientific analysis.

Special psychiatric units could be created in Chinese hospitals to help people who are said to be internet addicts.

Even if internet addiction does not become an official disorder, psychologists are expected to continue researching possible addicts, and how to treat it.

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RE: What a load...
By eion on 11/13/2008 12:39:12 AM , Rating: 4
If you were to go to China... can you say they are prospering?

Absolutely. By way of background, I work in China for a Chinese law firm, the law being an area relatively tightly controlled by the government (in any country, not just here).

So what does Chinese government do? Forces some of them to move into urban cities.

What you describe is the exact opposite of Chinese government policy (real and stated).

The Chinese ppl are not allowed to move from city to city that easily.

Moving from city to city has not been a problem for quite some time; the problem was moving from the countryside to a city. After one particularly outrageous case, back in 2003 as I recall, a lot of the controls have been rolled back.

Also you have to be there to experience it, how so?

Not looking Chinese, this is of course a problem for me. The other 'problem' is that people in China are naturally welcoming of foreigners, and because of that and other reasons, foreigners in China seem in most respects to be treated relatively better than locals, regardless of wealth. That said, I have travelled quite extensively in China with my local friends and colleagues.

The distinction between communism and the Chinese policy of "socialism with Chinese characteristics" is I think a real one, but in any event at street level the country is basically capitalist in my opinion. It certainly is not communist. I would say the China is "classless" in the same way as America is, with social divisions according to wealth instead.

I'm no apologist for the Chinese government, and I'm certainly no communist - I actually vote Libertarian. Just calling it how I see it. I've never been to the other countries you mention though, so I cannot comment on them.

RE: What a load...
By just4U on 11/13/2008 4:54:09 AM , Rating: 2
I found your post here to be very informative. Thumbs up!

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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