A 6 a.m. wake-up call. Afternoon drills in military bearing and formations. And a grueling regime of push-ups and leg lifts before the 9:30 p.m. lights-out.
Welcome to rehab for Internet addicts – People’s Liberation Army (PLA) style.
Here, on a military base outside Beijing, a progressive Chinese psychologist, Tao Ran, has established a treatment center for a distinctly 21st-century malady.
The center is an experiment in treating “non-material” addictions – others include work-, shop- and sex-aholism – that are booming along with China’s rapid modernization, says Dr. Tao.
“The problem is getting worse,” says Tao. “[Internet addicts] can’t adjust to school and society, so they try to escape their difficulties and avoid problems. They lack self-confidence and often don’t have the courage to continue their lives.”