Doctors warn of Web addiction

OVERLOAD: Doctors are now using the term ‘hikikomori’ to describe people who withdraw from society for months or years at a time, often due to Internet addiction

Taipei Times
Date: Nov 12, 2019
By: Sherry Hsiao  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Lack of knowledge about hikikomori — a Japanese term describing an individual who withdraws

National Taiwan University Children’s Hospital pediatric psychologist Chang Li-ren gives a talk on the hikikomori phenomenon on Sunday at the annual Taiwan Medical Week conference.
Photo: CNA

from society — is impeding treatment, a child psychologist said on Sunday.

Ko Chih-hung (柯志鴻), head of the psychiatry department at Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital, made the remarks at a discussion titled “Smartphone/Internet Addiction and Hikikomori” that was cohosted by the Formosan Medical Association and the Taiwanese Society of Psychiatry as a part of an annual conference called Taiwan Medical Week.

Playing video games are often seen as the “simplest and fastest way to achieve happiness,” Ko said, adding that not only are the games challenging, but they also contain clear and fair rules.

As long as players put in a little effort, they can derive a sense of accomplishment and happiness from playing games, he said, but added that when an individual spends an excessive amount of time gaming, they might lose interest in or the ability to complete their studies or hold a job.

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