Teen Cell Phone Addiction
Teenage cell phone usage has touched the heights of addiction. Teenagers can’t imagine their lives without their phones. Even one day without their cell phones generates symptoms not unlike drug withdrawal. Studies have found that teenagers use cell phones for 9 to 10 hours a day. Some surveys suggest that 90% of children in the U.S. use smartphones to call, text, access social media, and web surf. Their underdeveloped brains defy logical reasoning and therefore it is very easy to become addicted.
Symptoms of Teen Cell phone Addiction
Mental symptoms: Teenagers are get cut off from the world around them while using their cell phone. They lose sense of the passage of time and often become pressured or overwhelmed with the social media overload. This may cause depression and anxiety.
A noticeable major symptom is when a teenager chooses to spend more time with the cell phone than with their friends and family. Their active outdoor life is greatly minimized, and even if or when they are outdoors, their cell phone never leaves their hands.
Additionally, a teen with cell phone addiction may always be craving the latest and most modern device, pressuring parents to buy the new model with its most modern and up to date apps. Often if their desires are not fulfilled, they become irritated and even violent. Further, at times when their network is down or their battery is not working, they have great difficulty coping without access to their device.
Physical symptoms: Teenagers with cell phone addiction may also exhibit physical symptoms, such as, tense neck and back muscles, pain in fingers, itchy eyes, bodyweight variation, fatigue and lethargy, diet changes, unfocused, and easily distracted mind.
Teen Cell phone Addiction – Causes & Effects
Today’s teenagers are born into a period where cell phones are the center of everyday life. Since they significantly witness the usage of cell phones around them, they tend to imitate this behavior and do not believe that there is another way of operating. In addition, as a result of peer pressure, teenagers remain attached to their cell phones to feel part of their peer groups and to keep abreast of what is going on in their social settings. Also, when a teen is not able to handle adverse situations or to fight boredom, he/ she may resort to the cell phone to avoid real life challenges.
Cell phone addiction is categorized under impulse-control addiction along with the teen internet addiction. Its effect is focused on the brain, as it reduces emotions, decontrols impulses, and affects decision-making capabilities and simple reasoning powers.
Cell phone addiction can also induce other substance and alcohol abuse habits. Teenagers with cell phone addiction often have poor nutritional habits and exercise routines, affecting their overall health. These teenagers become isolated from society as well. Their habitual cell phone usage can also hinder and impair their safety and the safety of others, such as causing motor accidents.
Treatment of Teen Cell phone Addiction
Treatment of teen cell phone addiction is best addressed through conversations, engaging the teenager to understand that to maximize our daily living and be successful in life we must have a mind that is focused and connected, as well as a body that is balanced and healthy. It is important for a teenager to realize the effects that excessive cell phone usage has on their development and the danger it can cause to themselves and others if not monitored and reduced, or at least balanced with other activities, including reading and outdoor sports. As a parent, you may lead by example, using your cell phone only when absolutely necessary. It may also be helpful to set budgets regarding monthly cell phone usage and costs of new devices and apps. An internet data limit may also be set to limit usage, as well as overall monitoring of sites surfed and other cell phone activities.
Treatment at Hillcrest
Occasionally, home treatment is not effective enough and one may need to resort to a rehabilitation facility that is expertly trained at treating addiction disorders. Hillcrest is one such residential rehabilitation facility, renowned for its therapeutic and innovative treatment of teenage mental health disorders, and addiction disorders, including cell phone addiction. Its state of the art facility, in a gorgeous natural oasis-like environment, under the guided care of professional and dedicated staff enables wholesome and long lasting recovery.