Internet 'Addicts' Escape Chinese 'Rehab' Center

from the they-googled-'how-to-escape' dept

We're still amazed that some psychologists and psychiatrists have been trying to get "internet addiction" officially recognized. Nearly all the studies on the subject show that it's not the "internet" that people are addicted to. In cases where people are acting in a manner where they don't want to give up their connection, it's usually due to some other serious problem that they're trying to avoid or escape. However, the Chinese have been pushing the concept of "internet addiction" for years, with some fun ideas on how to "cure" people -- from shock therapy to detox units with electric acupuncture and drugs. Then there was the summer camp for internet addicts.

Apparently, though, those so-called addicts aren't happy. Fourteen kids sent to a Chinese "rehabilitation" camp by their parents recently escaped from the center they were in -- though, without their internet connection to guide them, all were recaptured quickly (that's a joke: they were caught after they were unable to pay cab fare). Rather than recognizing that harsh treatments to cure a non-existent problem might not make much sense, all of the parents sent their kids right back.


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  1.  
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    out_of_the_blue, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 3:44am

    I'm amazed that you're amazed.

    Like other limited professions, psychologists and psychiatrists are always trying to create customers. When at best this bunch borders on quackery, it's not going too far to say that their stated goals are exact opposite of actions.

    In this case, when under a Communist dictator, they work for the ends of the state. Throwing people into insane asylums is an old trick of the Soviet Union, at one stroke destroys the credibility of its dissenters while imprisoning them physically.

    Nor am I surprised that the parents returned them, because "harsh treatments to cure a non-existent problem" include jailing the parents too.

    Your notions of how societies work are sadly mis-informed by having been lucky enough to be born in a relatively free society, but there really are evil people with power who don't care at all what damage they do others.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 4:21am

    Psychologists and psychiatrists

    Should cure themselves of their oxygen addiction.

     

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  3.  
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    Pugs, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 4:23am

    "it's usually due to some other serious problem that they're trying to avoid or escape."

    To be fair most addictions are caused by other underlying problems. I'd argue that spending all of your time online/on WoW to avoid confronting the underlying problem is a safer form of escapism than alcholism.

    Also agree with #1, physcologists very often don't want to cure people, thats just losing a customer, far more sensible to keep them coming back, or just lock them up. Although this isn't limited to dictators, similar mentalities are rife among the psycologists here in Ireland.

     

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  4.  
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    bARRY, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 5:08am

    ADHD is the north american version of the syndrome that doesn't exist, but is pushed by powerful lobbies, drug companies, and a collection of 'symptoms' that equate to high energy, boring school, and insufficient parenting

     

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  5.  
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    KRO, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 5:39am

    Addiction

    Addiction per dictionary.com is "the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, such as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma." "Internet addiction" probably does not meet this criteria. Excessive internet use to the point of adversely affecting ones life I suppose is quite possible but calling it an addiction may not be the best label. Excessive internet use to me is simply a poor choice of how I use my time and what is excessive to one may not be excessive to another. If the parents view their child's behavior as destructive then the parents have every right to fix it. I'm sure the Chinese find some of our American "Behavior Modification" techniques quite amusing as well.

     

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  6.  
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    Matthew, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 5:45am

    bARRY, I'd say that ADHD (and ADD) exist on a spectrum of mental functioning but only become a disorder in the context of the need to interact with "normal" society. My fiancee has ADD. On weekends, she doesn't take meds for it and it certainly doesn't prevent her from functioning. She takes meds during the week though because otherwise, she'd have a hard time at work.

    I could probably get myself diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and get meds for that too if I wanted to. By and large, I think we've extended the definition of a disorder from brain chemistry that makes you dangerous to yourself or others to brain chemistry that makes you uncomfortable or inconvenient to others.

    Not that there's anything wrong with medicating a depression or anxiety disorder. I just feel like the standard of need has become looser while at the same time, we don't appropriately respect relatively mild variations in brain chemistry as being part of the normal human range of existence.

     

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  7.  
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    Barry, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 6:07am

    Re:

    But you can give those drugs to any 'normal' person and have reactions, also they have withdrawal symptoms which can be mistaken for the ADD

     

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  8.  
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    Joe Botha, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 6:09am

    what's it called?

    I'd call it "Don't Boot Camp"

     

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  9.  
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    xs (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 6:21am

    Re: I'm amazed that you're amazed.

    In your case, your notion of how people in other country live is sadly mis-informed by not having a brain and/or the slightest urge to actually use what little brain power you have.

    Those kids that were sent to these treatment centers have serious problems, often spending almost all of their waking hours in front of a computer, playing games or chatting lasting days at a time. The parents who sent them to the treatment centers were desparate to save their lives, literally, as there are several cases of young kids dying after marathon gaming sessions.

     

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  10.  
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    Sean T Henry (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 6:28am

    Re:

    Most of the signs of ADD and ADHD are the signs of a child who does not get enough sleep or may have sleep apnea.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: I'm amazed that you're amazed.

    More people have died from Cheerleading than have ever died from gaming addiction. Should we ban cheerleading?

    The amount of people that are dangerously addicted to gaming would be very small, and the few cases where people have died from it have been blown way out of proportion. It's the same situation as kids who play games going out and killing people, the game is blamed for the problem, not the underlying condition (they're bat sh*t crazy).

     

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  12.  
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    James, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re:

    You give ADD medication to a non ADD patient and you will always have a substantial hyper activity. There is a chemical imbalance in the brain of someone who is ADD. Government used to prevent ADD diagnosed people from joining the military because they used the same medication to keep the soldiers awake. I know this first hand.

     

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  13.  
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    interval (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 8:19am

    "...harsh treatments to cure a non-existent problem might not make much sense..."

    This is a common tool for totalitarian societies though. Political Re-education camps have been common in China, the Soviet Union, N. Korea...

     

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  14.  
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    Jay (profile), Jun 16th, 2010 @ 9:52am

    Re: Yes

    The results are disastrous however...

    Quote -

    When the other campers were sent to bed, around 9 pm, Deng Senshan and three other new arrivals were instructed to run laps around the basketball courts under klieg lights. By now, Deng Senshan didn’t resist much; he ran about 30 laps before he stumbled and fell. A counselor dragged him to a nearby flagpole and hit him with a wooden chair leg, which broke. Deng Senshan begged for him to stop, pushed himself up, and continued running. He made it halfway around the court before collapsing again. “Do you want to run?” the counselor yelled, strutting over with a plastic stool, which he swung down on the boy.

    The results for their report an internet addiction seems shallow now that it's known what occurs in them against their own people.

    Quote:

    A separate survey, reported by Xinhua, shows that 60 percent of youngsters approve of the anti-gaming-addiction measures taken by the government’s censors.

    I seriously doubt that in a contested survey.

     

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  15.  
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    C, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 9:58am

    Do they have camps for workholics too? That's an addiction.

     

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  16.  
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    Barry, Jun 16th, 2010 @ 6:51pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    afraid not, low dose stimulant in most people (diagnosis or not) will cause sedation, high dose cause 'hyperactivity', and yes, it has been used since WWII to keep soldiers (esp pilots) awake.

     

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  17.  
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    chrystal rynicke, Aug 16th, 2010 @ 3:59pm

    addiction

    i am amazed that this hasnt happened sooner but you send them to school and teach them how to be independent and give them a computer to use,wtf do you want.this is the bionic age of the 70's and 80's and if you give them weed they will smoke it.seriously folks,they can not do any worse than their predicessors so why fucking hold them back,washington grew hemp,jefferson smoked opium and kids are rocking computers,drugs are drugs and at least this one will teach you something,addiction is adiction.

     

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