Addicted to Internet? You May Need a Trip to the Rehab


Many of us are dependent on our phones, tablets and laptops, but Chinese scientists claim that Internet addiction is indeed a mental disorder. A new rehab facility has opened in Beijing and although there’s still no international consensus on whether this addiction can be classified as clinical disorder or not, doctors can soon be able to treat it.

There are not many studies on Internet addiction as it is a relatively new condition and there are no actual criteria for diagnosing the “disorder”. However, there are already specialized facilities in various countries, with the latest one in Beijing becoming increasingly popular after a dedicated documentary, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival this January. But how serious can one be really addicted to Internet? After all, we are all using technology and the web every single day – are we all sick? It may sound funny, but according to doctors, the condition is in fact very dangerous. It is mostly present in children and teenagers, who spend 20 hours a day on average in front of their computers. Their behavior apparently also changes. According to Prof. Tao Ran, some kids wear diapers in order to save time for internet gaming. In fact, the most serious condition is precisely the gaming addiction.

Violence is also a common symptom – in some cases, when parents try to stop their children from playing, the kids will physically attack them, turn on the gas, or threaten to jump out of the building! But what lies underneath Internet addiction? What are the factors that lead to such a disorder? Loneliness is a huge issue, for Prof. Ran, claiming that children, who find it hard to communicate with the others offline, seek companionship in the virtual world. Such children have no actual knowledge of the real world and real life relationships, so at one point, the Internet becomes their world. For instance, one reason for Chinese teenagers’ loneliness is the country’s one child policy.

Another factor is no doubt the role of the parents. A recent Greek study showed that having strict, unaffectionate parents is linked to “unhealthy attachment” to Internet use. It appears that the connection between kids and parents is extremely important for the future development of children’s personalities.

According to one survey, there are more than 24 million young Internet addicts in China and another 1 8million are at risk. Apparently, the condition is becoming more common and further research is needed in order to assess and classify this new kind of addiction.


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