The Linyi Mental Health Hospital in eastern Shandong province has used electric shock therapy (EST) as part of a four-month program to treat Chinese youths of Internet addiction. Now, after some 3,000 have undergone the therapy, the Chinese Health Ministry has ordered them to stop, saying there’s no proof it works.
EST has been used to treat depression, but on its website, the Ministry said no clinical evidence exists that it can help cure the Internet addiction that’s sweeping Chinese youth, according to AP.
Hospital spokesman Yang Shuyun said on Tuesday that the hospital had ended the EST program after seeing the Ministry’s comments, but that it had only been one facet in the program, for which the hospital charged patients $805 a month.
Although not recognized as a clinical condition, it’s estimated that some 10% of Chinese youth are addicted to the Internet – which is defined as spending more than six hours a day online, and becoming angry when not able to get online.
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