Wed, Oct 04, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Internet addiction rising

STAFF WRITER

A local medical professional yesterday sounded the alarm over the rising number of Internet addicts in the country and raised the need for professional assistance to wean them off the habit.

Yang Tsung-tsai (楊聰財), chairman of the department of psychiatry at Cardinal Tien Hospital, told a press conference that majority of the addicts were unwilling to seek professional help, and that 80 percent of the patients who did seek treatment were forced to do so by their families or classmates.

Yang cited the case of a college student who spent the whole day chatting online. Because the student missed a number of classes and was about to be suspended from school, his classmates took him to a doctor, Yang said.

With medical and psychological treatment, the student is now recovering, Yang said.

Yang cited another case of a young man addicted to online gaming who had not left his home for a couple of months. The man even prohibited his mother from entering his room, asking her to leave his meals outside his door so he could continue playing.

The young man is now undergoing theopy treatment, Yang said.

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