South Korea identifies internet addiction as national epidemic
No doubt internet has simplified our lives to a great extent. With just one click, it can land you in an ocean of information related to any and every subject. However, it has also led to a number of serious issues. Over the years, there has been a significant increase in the cases of internet addiction. You can easily come across people glued to their phone screens or laptops every now and then. According to a survey by the National Hospital Organization’s Kurihama Medical and Addiction Center in Kanagawa Prefecture, more than 2.70 million adults are said to Internet addicts. With alarming statistics, the health officials in South Korea have classified internet addiction as a full-blown national epidemic. It has emerged as one of the major concerning issues, with majority of children getting addicted. In an attempt to keep a check on this issue, the Korean government spends a significant amount of funds to help the children at various residential rehab centers like the Internet Addiction Prevention Center. The condition is said to be even worse in China. According to the surveys, more than 20 million children are said to be internet addicts in the country. The gravity of the issue can estimated from the fact they even spend three days in cybercafés and gaming centres. As a matter of fact, China happens to be the first country to term internet addiction as a clinical disorder in the year2008. In its attempt to combat the issue, the country started organizing military-style boot camps. Though, this act was critique and garnered negative reviews, it helped in controlling the situation to some extent. The use of some ways also claimed various lives. A survey on around 100,000 junior high and senior high school students conducted by a panel of the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry highlighted that a huge of number of them were internet addicts. As per the latest research on internet addiction in Western countries it is estimated that a number of people are likely to suffer from potential acute diagnosis of Internet gaming disorder. Its common symptoms include feelings of guilt and euphoria, stress, mood-swings, depression, tendency to lie, inability to keep schedules, limited or no sense of time, anti-social behaviour, defensiveness, fatigue and agitation. The online addicts, especially students tend to be intolerant when the gaming is taken away. They also start lying to family members about time spent gaming. In a major part of the world, internet addiction is still a subject to scepticism by the public and the psychiatric community. It is not considered as a serious issue. Such addictions are not included in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. However, its latest edition has listed "internet gaming disorder" as a "condition recommended for further study."