South Korean internet addiction treatment is increasing, reports the New York Times. Internet addiction has been treated in South Korea as a teenage phenomenon for some time, but a Dr. Ha Jee-hyun is described in the article as treating four times as many adult patients now as he did two years ago. In response to a number of high-profile cases of internet addiction, the South Korean government has decided to expand the existing counselling programs to adults. Plans are also being drawn up to open new rehabilitation centres for adult sufferers.
On the one hand, it is of course tragic that there are so many stories of internet addiction destroying lives, sometimes literally, in Korea. On the other, I am pleased to see the South Korean government keeping abreast of the situation, even if they’re not on top of it. I have to wonder how much funding is given to treating new and emerging mental health issues such as internet addiction in the western world – as much as Korea is a hotbed for problems brought on by modern technology, it appears to have adapted its culture more quickly than much of the world in order to meet these challenges. For more details, check out the original article.