“Video game addiction” was recently made an official thing by the World Health Organization. This opened up a new pool of debates among society. Is smartphone addiction also a thing? Does it deserve its own special diagnosis and treatment plan? Well, it depends on who you ask. Some people argue that the definition of “addiction” is becoming too broad. They argue that just because someone indulges in an activity more than they should, does not qualify them as being “addicted”. Others argue that these are not stand-alone diagnoses, instead, they are issues that stem from larger mental health problems such as depression or anxiety.
Regardless of the outcome of this debate, we can all agree that there is a point in which smartphone use becomes excessive to the point at which it may have negative consequences on one’s everyday life. The word “smartphone” is highly associated with the teenage population. Teens love having social interaction on stand-by at all times. Even if they are away from people, they aren’t actually away from people.
Unfortunately, social media has become the safe haven for many teens. Social media is the outlet in which they use to seek approval, satisfaction, and feel some sort of purpose. Smartphones are the tools that allow us to present ourselves in a filtered and fantastical manner. You should acknowledge when your teen appears to be unable to separate themselves from the virtual world. The scientists don’t have to qualify smartphone addiction as a mental-health problem for us to know that it excessive smartphone use can be a problem.
Identifying the symptoms is a smart start
You should look for behaviors in your teen that could indicate smartphone addiction that is present or developing. Here are various signs and symptoms that could stem from a smartphone addiction problem:
- Significant weight change
- Change in diet
- Change in sleep patterns
- Depressed or irritable mood
- Flat affect or facial expression
- Little interest in activities they once found enjoyable
- Difficulties paying attention
- Withdrawal from social interaction or activities
- Low self-esteem
- Neglecting other activities and is constantly on his or her phone
- Sore neck or headaches
- Symptoms of anxiety when without his or her cell phone or service
- Experiencing “phantom vibration syndrome,” which means checking his or her phone when it hasn’t vibrated or rung
- Using his or her cell phone while driving
Solstice East can help
Solstice East is a residential treatment center for girls ages 14-18 who struggle with addictive behaviors or other mental health issues. Solstice East emphasizes physical fitness and nutrition as a part of integrating healthy habits into the lives of young women. Students will learn how to cope with their emotions, create healthy boundaries, nurturing relationships, and develop skills useful in the real world. This program gives students the opportunity to develop confidence, a greater sense of self-awareness, and the skills they need to lead happy and healthy lives.
Contact us at 855) 672-7058