Clinic Opens For Kids Addicted To The Internet

22/03/2010 19:16 | Updated 22 May 2015

Many anxious parents are worried about the amount of time their children spend playing computer games or online.

Now a new private clinic has opened in London which claims to be the first to specifically address the problem of youngsters who have become addicted to their computers and phones.

Richard Graham, a consultant psychiatrist who leads the clinic, argues that they are addressing a real need.

"Mental health services need to adapt quickly to the changing worlds that young people inhabit, and understand just how seriously their lives can be impaired by unregulated time online, on-screen or in-game."

Although the Capio Nightingale Hospital will be focusing on teenagers aged 15-17, they also expect to be seeing children as young as 12.

The Young Person Technology Addiction Service which the clinic offers, aims to teach kids about their relationship with computers and help them learn how to press the off switch from time to time.

However, many remain sceptical as to whether 'technology addiction' is a valid condition which needs professional treatment.

Whilst a spokesperson for the clinic declined to discuss their charges, they say gaming addiction is definitely not a myth.

Dr Graham cited examples of children 'flying into a rage' when told by parents to turn off their computers, even to the extent whereby the police have had to intervene.

He also called for guidelines to establish "what counts as healthy or unhealthy use of technology".

Certainly many parents will recognise the description of young people who spend a huge amount of time glued to their computer screens, or are constantly texting friends.

However, does it constitute an actual addiction? Or is this a case of rich parents paying psychiatrists to instil discipline and teach self-control to children on their behalf?

Do you think there's such a thing as 'technology addiction'? Are you worried about the amount of time your kids spend online?

Suggest a correction