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Internet Addiction Clinic Opens in South Korea

By Solon Harmony Dolor / Jun 20, 2011 / Web 48

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A new medical clinic in South Korea has just opened and it wouldn’t have been such a news maker if it wasn’t for the condition it will be focusing on treating.

Internet addiction clinic - Shendeluth / Flickr (CC BY-NC-SA)According to the Agence France-Presse, a new internet addiction clinic has been opened at the Gongju National Hospital in the Asian country.

Currently, there are only three people undergoing the five-week treatment program at the internet addiction clinic, the AFP says.

This is despite the clinic receiving numerous inquiries from parents, the internet addiction clinic reveals. The AFP reveals that parents may have inquired about the services of the internet addiction clinic but did not go through with treatment because of the stigma of bringing a child to a psychiatric clinic for treatment.

However, Lee Jaewon, head of the internet addiction clinic says that they will continue their work even though internet addiction has not been formally recognized as a mental illness.

“It will be too late if we only start treatment after Internet addiction has been acknowledged as a mental disease,” Lee told the AFP. “We will start now, hoping more medical effort and attention will be given to the issue.”

The news organization notes that South Korea is “one of the world’s most wired nations.” The report also notes of cases where internet addiction has harmed individuals and even their children.

According to the AFP, the five-week treatment at the internet addiction clinic starts with a survey diagnosis, “a brain image scan and psychological tests.”

It adds that the treatment at the clinic includes “group sessions, art therapy, medicine and…neurofeedback and transcranial magnetic stimulation.”

The program at the internet addiction clinic, which includes the testing and the treatment itself, costs 630,000 won ($585) for those who have government insurance coverage, “and up to 1,940,000 won without”, the AFP reports.

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