BEIJING — China has specified the definition and diagnosis standard for internet addiction in its latest adolescent health education guideline.
Internet addiction refers to one exhibiting uncontrollable internet use without being affected by other addictive substances, said the document released by China’s National Health Commission last week.
The symptoms of internet addiction include academic, professional and social dysfunction following internet overuse, said the document, adding that the duration of addictive actions is a major criterion in diagnosing such a disorder, with symptoms having to have lasted at least 12 months.
Figures show the rate of excessive internet dependence among adolescents reaches 6 percent worldwide while the rate in China is close to 10 percent, said Lu Lin, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and head of the Peking University Sixth Hospital.
Insofar as internet addiction is related to other psychological issues like anxiety and depression, its clinical treatment should also conform to the regulations of addressing those issues, said Lu.
He called for joint efforts from family, schools and adolescents to solve the problem, as internet addiction is not just a medical issue.
The education guideline also addresses health issues such as obesity and myopia among children and teens.