Chinese net-addict teenagers given electric shocks as treatment

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Shanghai, June 7 (ANI): In a bid to prevent Internet addiction of their children, Chinese parents are turning towards electro-shock therapy at a clinic that claims they will be "reborn" free of the obsession.

However, the harsh methods used by the clinic have caused an outcry among 3000 teenagers, who have been subjected to this odd treatment, The Sunday Times reports.

At Dr Yang Yonxin's clinic, there are at least 100 young inmates.

Their parents have sent them to the treatment centre in Shandong province, eastern China, because they have become hyperactive and uncontrollable.

Patients are forbidden to speak about anything except their struggle to escape the addiction. The boy or girl is made to write a confession and kneel in front of his or her parents.

The clinic has 86 rules. The regulations prescribe electric shocks as punishment for "misdeeds" such as eating chocolate and locking the bathroom door.

Former patients, writing online, claim the shocks, some severe, were administered continuously.

Yang denies this, saying the shocks are mild and harmless, intended to help teenagers to calm down slowly as they free themselves from their obsessions.

Many physicians criticize Yang's authoritarian approach.

Tao Ran, the founder of China's first "internet addiction" clinic, has said children need love, care and attention from parents, friends and teachers.

"We should educate and lead these children instead of treating them as psycho-paths to be dosed with drugs and electric shocks," added Tao Hongkai, a professor of education at Central China University.

Overuse of the Internet has become a household worry in China. The country has more than 300 million Internet users, 40 millons of whom play online games.

An official study two years ago claimed that almost 10 percent of the nation's young people were "addicted to the web". (ANI)

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