China Ends Electroshock Treatment for Internet Addicts

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China Ends Electroshock Treatment for Internet Addicts

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China's Ministry of Health has shut down a controversial program that used electroshock therapy to treat teenage internet and videogame addicts.

Offered by a clinic in the city of Linyi, the program used electroshock therapy along with "important medical and psychological elements" in a four month course designed to treat internet and videogame addiction in teenagers. The course cost $878 per month and parents had to sign a contract acknowledging that their children would be subjected to electric shocks as part of their treatment. Over 3000 teens were "tricked or forced into" the program, according to the China Daily, which said they were considered cured or "reborn" once they admitted their addiction.

The program came to light when former patients blogged about their experiences, claiming that while they were being treated they were not allowed to talk about anything but overcoming their addiction, they were forced to kneel in front of their parents to demonstrate obedience and they had to confess to "wrongdoing." The electric shocks were applied to patients who broke any of the program's 86 rules, which included such things as locking the bathroom door or sitting in a chair belonging to Dr. Yang Yongxin, the head of the program.

This sort of "therapy" may be shocking to Westerners but Kong Lingzhong, editor of an internet addiction portal, said there is still "fierce debate" in China over the use of electroshock therapy to cure internet addiction. "We have no clue whether this freaky treatment has side-effects," Kong admitted.

via: GamePolitics

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EST is quite a controversial one, but is there really evidence it works? I don't find this quite so 'shocking' (excuse the pun) as EST has been used to treat many things, sometimes successfully sometimes not so much. It's the fact that people were tricked or forced to go into it. That's quite shameful and not something which should be going on in this world. Addictions aren't cured through shock treatment, they're cured by finding the cause of the addiction and learning to live without it, not forcing a kid to be electrocuted because he plays too much WoW. And I don't know much about this program, but it begs the question, who decides who's addicted and who isn't? If people are tricked or forced into it they could be forcing healthy people to get treatment they don't need and cause a lot more problems. this is unnaceptable.

that is shocking, (I told myself no puns but fuck you brain) and yay for them?

The fact that they ever even thought about using electro shock, much less actually using it, speaks volumes about China's ignorance in this matter. But at least it's over! I feel terrible for the people that had to go through it.

They've used electro shocks? Wow...

Bastards! Torturing kids because they don't understand their lifestyle or culture.

Sorry if this is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, but nothing gets me riled up as much as idiots in power.

At least they had the sense to stop this madness.

Hey at least they stopped it,I know if it weren't for electro shock id still be stuck on the internet...

I'm shock- ... who am I kidding, it has been used in this article -.-.

I seriously find it repulsing to use EST, in any manner, I would think it could have severe implications on the brain. I'm sure it's used under careful conditions, and not just hook a kid to a car battery, but it just seems so excessive.

Under extreme conditions it might be a solution, but on teenagers who spend too much time on video games?

What's the pic from? Looks a bit shifty to me.

Isn't there evidence to suggest that ETS causes brain damage resulting in memory loss and impaired cognitive function?
Granted it's decadent western evidence but still.

Panda Mania:
What's the pic from? Looks a bit shifty to me.

Yeah, the one on the left is a spitting image of Paul Merton.

Sounds fun, but I live in England :(

Nimbus:
Bastards! Torturing kids because they don't understand their lifestyle or culture.

Sorry if this is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, but nothing gets me riled up as much as idiots in power.

At least they had the sense to stop this madness.

I one hundred percent agree with this. What gives them the right to control people and force them over to their views?

Nimbus:
Bastards! Torturing kids because they don't understand their lifestyle or culture.

Sorry if this is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, but nothing gets me riled up as much as idiots in power.

At least they had the sense to stop this madness.

Believe me I'm also pissed. Using a joke treatment (I fail to see how shocking someone would help them) to force a change in thought on people (that second thing is bad alone) shows how stupid China's government is, not to mention the parents. Also, the kneeling thing got to me. I just always hated the idea of teaching submissiveness and unconditional respect for authority.

Wh-what...

Lawd, China.

Thanks again China. When my life is down, you're always there to remind me how miserable it COULD be.

Is that SCTV I see?

The article is pretty vague, at least from a clinical perspective. Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT, a.k.a. electroshock therapy) has definite value as a tool in treating severe depression, which could be part of something like internet addiction. But done properly, patients aren't going to have any memory of the event; it's not well understood why it works, but it seems to "reset" the individual (via the temporary and sometimes permanent memory loss) such that they are able to climb out of the self-defeating depression feedback loop they are stuck in. But it's not meant to be a permanent solution, just a way of getting a patient to a state where they can start getting better using other approaches, and it would never be done as a first resort.

The fact that it was used as punishment for not following rules makes me think that what was going on in this clinic wasn't so much the "hook the electrodes up to the head & put the leather belt in the mouth" deal and more of the "let's sadistically zap these kids with a taser" deal.

WrongSprite:

Panda Mania:
What's the pic from? Looks a bit shifty to me.

Yeah, the one on the left is a spitting image of Paul Merton.

It's Dave Thomas and Rick Moranis. It's likely from "Strange Brew", where they're playing the dimwitted Bob & Doug MacKenzie. If not, then it's from a sketch they did on Second City TV.

Eletroshock? Kinda barbaric isn't it? What's next... Lobotomy?

Only idiots become addicted,shocking them for 800 cash each month is a silly thing to do,simply parents need to ban internet to their kids if they get hooked.

Nimbus:
Bastards! Torturing kids because they don't understand their lifestyle or culture.

Sorry if this is a bit of a knee-jerk reaction, but nothing gets me riled up as much as idiots in power.

At least they had the sense to stop this madness.

I agree. I feel thats a completely normal reaction.

Sounds a re-volting idea, I'd charge them for that level of battery.

This shocking treatment is sure to electrify countries against them and even if they claim it wasn't their volt, then they're coulombing to new heights of stupidity. Watt will they think of next? At least it doesn't happen back ohm.

And now, my impression of Michael Johnson...*runs for it*

It's China what did you expect? The people are lucky they didn't use tear gas, or Iron Maidens carrying and electric current.

jaeger138:
EST is quite a controversial one, but is there really evidence it works? I don't find this quite so 'shocking' (excuse the pun) as EST has been used to treat many things, sometimes successfully sometimes not so much. It's the fact that people were tricked or forced to go into it. That's quite shameful and not something which should be going on in this world. Addictions aren't cured through shock treatment, they're cured by finding the cause of the addiction and learning to live without it, not forcing a kid to be electrocuted because he plays too much WoW. And I don't know much about this program, but it begs the question, who decides who's addicted and who isn't? If people are tricked or forced into it they could be forcing healthy people to get treatment they don't need and cause a lot more problems. this is unnaceptable.

I know this is pedantic but electrocution is the name for death by electric shock, not merely a nonlethal shock. It annoys me when people get it wrong.

Continue with the thread.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Sounds a re-volting idea, I'd charge them for that level of battery.

This shocking treatment is sure to electrify countries against them and even if they claim it wasn't their volt, then they're coulombing to new heights of stupidity. Watt will they think of next? At least it doesn't happen back ohm.

And now, my impression of Michael Johnson...*runs for it*

.....

Jacobistheshiz:
It's China what did you expect? The people are lucky they didn't use tear gas, or Iron Maidens carrying and electric current.

Pretty much this, I'm not really shocked with these people.

This comes to mind when I read about this article:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWW9CWhRpfA&feature=channel_page

tharwen:
I know this is pedantic but electrocution is the name for death by electric shock, not merely a nonlethal shock. It annoys me when people get it wrong.

Continue with the thread.

I actually didn't know that was the definition, thought it was just a general word for when electricity was applied to something.

But yes, it was very pedantic.

but... why would the do that to us in the first place?

Malicious:
Only idiots become addicted,shocking them for 800 cash each month is a silly thing to do,simply parents need to ban internet to their kids if they get hooked.

You obviously don't understand addiction. It's not only 'idiots' who become addicted, and it's not a simple case of banning it. There's pletny of ways a kid can get online not in their own home, by that logic alone we should ban everything in the world anywhere, just so people can't get hold of it and become addicted or further their addiction.

what a shock (pun was intended), kinda messed up.

Great, now I can move back to China. I miss all the windmills and tulips.

The_root_of_all_evil:
Sounds a re-volting idea, I'd charge them for that level of battery.

This shocking treatment is sure to electrify countries against them and even if they claim it wasn't their volt, then they're coulombing to new heights of stupidity. Watt will they think of next? At least it doesn't happen back ohm.

And now, my impression of Michael Johnson...*runs for it*

*groooooooooooooooooooooooooooooan*

eletro shock therapy is also a treatment for depression so they applied it with Pavlovian training methods what a mess up piece medical torture.

Oh good, they only got THREE THOUSAND people, no big deal.

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