Symptoms to look out for ...
China's first drafted diagnostic manual on Internet addiction (IA), released last November, states an Internet addict can be identified by the following characteristics:
They linger on the Internet for more than six hours straight a day, other than for the purpose of study or work;
They have an irresistible desire to go online;
Ceasing to use the Web leads to a general malaise or fidgeting, as well as an attention deficit or sleep disorder;
They show a persistent failure to control the amount of time spent online;
They sacrifice recreational or social activities to spend more time online;
They see the Internet as a means to escape a negative reality or emotion.
It also divides IA into five specific areas: online gaming, pornography, social networking, Internet information and shopping.
The manual was drafted by 42 medical experts at the Beijing Military Region General Hospital based on research into more than 1,300 cases between 2004 and 2008 by the Health Bureau of the General Logistic Department of the People's Liberation Army. It has been submitted to the Ministry of Health and, if approved, will make China the first country to establish a clinical diagnostic standard for IA.
(China Daily 08/12/2009 page7)