July 8, 2020
Yang Yongxin – psychiatrist
Yang Yongxin (Chinese: 杨永信) (born 21 June 1962) is a highly controversial Chinese clinical psychiatrist who advocated and practiced electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) without anaesthesia or muscle relaxants as a cure for alleged Internet addiction in adolescents. Yang is currently deputy chief of the Fourth Hospital of Linyi (Linyi Mental Hospital), in the Shandong province of China. He runs the Internet Addiction Treatment Center at the hospital.
According to media reports, families of teenaged patients sent to the hospital paid CNY 5,500 (US$805) per month to be treated using a combination of psychiatric medication and ECT, which Yang dubbed as “xingnao” (Chinese: 醒脑, brain-waking) treatment. He treated 3000 children before the practice was prohibited by the Chinese Ministry of Health. Yang claimed that 96% of his patients had shown signs of improvement, a figure that was questioned by the Chinese media. Since the ban, Yang has used ‘low-frequency pulse therapy’, a treatment of his own devising alleged by former patients to be more painful than ECT. In 2016, the center claimed to have treated more than 6000 adolescents.