(ECNS) - Addiction to electronic devices is expected to be added to the handbook for psychiatry next year, according to the China-U.S. International Symposium on Mental Health held in Nanjing.
Dr. Lin Weilun, psychiatrist at Lakeland Hospital in Springfield, Missouri, said addiction to electronic devices has become a new development across the world and those affected are becoming younger, with some children at 4 to 6 years beginning to rely on an ‘electronic pacifier’ because of its soothing role.
Lin added that addiction to electronic gadgets currently is not defined as a mental illness but a mental health issue. With increasing cases, it is expected that it would be included in the international psychiatric handbook by 2019 for wider research.
According to the study, the earlier the exposure to electronic products, the greater the chances of addiction after growing up, and parents should take the lead in reducing the use of mobile phones as a solution, said Lin.
Nearly 100 experts and scholars from the mental health field attended the meeting.