Malcolm Moore
November 11, 2008

China is likely to become the first country in the world to officially recognise internet addiction as a clinical disease as it battles with the increasing number of people who spend almost of their time in chatrooms, blogging or playing online games.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

The ministry of health should adopt a new definition of internet addiction next year, which lists symptoms of the addiction including irritation, difficulty in concentration or sleeping, mental or physical distress and a yearning to get back online.

Addicts are classified as users who spend at least six hours online a day.

The manual was drawn up by psychologists who studied 1,300 “problematic” internet users. One-tenth of surfers under 18, or four million people, are addicted, mainly to online gaming.

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