The Beijing Health Ministry is soon to adopt "internet addiction" as a disorder along with compulsive gambling and alcoholism in the official diagnostic manual. Doctor Tao Ran, who treats sufferers at Beijing's Military General Hospital, says the threshold is around six hours a day and one of the following symptoms in the past three months: "yearning to get back online, mental or physical distress, irritation and difficulty concentrating or sleeping." So, um, yeah, I'm addicted, along with ten percent of users under eighteen in China, according to a study cited by a state official. There is hope:
"Eighty percent of addicts can be cured with treatment, which usually lasts about three months," said Tao. He did not describe the treatment, however.
Online gaming gets called out for abuse, but I'll get the shakes if I can't check email. Anyone else have trouble staying offline, and if so, how do you cope? Photo by AP/Greg Baker