Cell phone addiction problems

Cell phone addiction is a behavioral disorder. Teens spend too much time using a mobile phone for texting, social media activities, watching videos and playing video games. A high school custodian characterizes excessive cell phone addiction and anxiety as "teen zombies who are glued to their phones."

Teens at the Manassas, Virginia county fair.Teens should look for other ways to socialize like these teens at a county fair.

According to The Mobile Youth Report, more teens than ever are attached to their mobile phone devices. These cell phone addiction statistics are alarming.

  •  81 percent of today's teens have a mobile phone next to them while they are asleep.
  • The first thing 74 percent of teens will do after waking up is to reach for their mobile phone.

When excessive mobile phone usage interferes with a teen's normal life, then it is defined as an addiction. For example, the inability to succeed at school or keep a job because the teen can't put down a mobile phone is an indication that the teen has a cell phone addiction problem. These are some of the psychological effects of cell phones.

More teens today spend more time texting others than having face-to-face conversations in person. Teens should not prepare for the working world this way. Spending too much time using mobile phone devices in the teen chat center contributes to a general lack of communication in today's society and social interactions with others.

How cell phones affect mental health

Teen depression symptoms might also be an indication that a teen is addicted to his or her mobile phone device. Some signs of a cell phone addiction problem include changes in a teen's behavior. Teen depression symptoms include changes in diet, sleep patterns, weight and chronic fatigue. Staring at a tiny mobile phone screen for more hours in the day than they should be doing may reflect in their everyday facial expressions.  

Teens in a depressed or irritable mood may be struggling with too much mobile phone usage. Withdrawal from social interaction or activities and lack of interest in activities they used to like are some indicators. Teens having difficulty paying attention to the teacher in school or their parents at home may be paying too much attention to the attractions available to them on their mobile phones. 

Low self-esteem and a sore neck or headaches are other indicators that teens are spending too much time using a mobile phone. Cell phone addiction happens when a teen must use their device while driving, crossing the street or abandoning other face-to-face social activities because the teen would rather chat or text others using a mobile phone.

Another term for cell phone addiction among youth is nomophobia. It is short for no-mobile-phone phobia. It happens when a teen is separated from his or her treasured device. It may be that the teen lost the mobile phone, left it at home or it was stolen. Separation anxiety sets in and the teen nervously panics during the day. Sweaty palms, restlessness, reaching for the device and not finding it are behaviors the worried teen may display to others. Teens become so dependent on their mobile phones that they find it difficult to function normally without it.

“Internet Use Disorder” or “IUD” is another addiction related to the constant use of mobile phones. Mobile phones are used to access Internet websites promoting addiction to both technologies. People suffering from IUD provide some insight into what happens to people who can't give up using their mobile phones. Teens will experience measurable changes in their brain cells. Excessive use of these technologies significantly affects the regions that control the processing of emotions and attention.

Cell phone addiction symptoms

Dopamine is a chemical produced by the human body and sends signals to the brain about human experiences of pleasure and reward. Research studies indicate that technology addicts have diminished dopamine receptors in parts of their brain. In other words, a teen's ability to experience pleasure and reward is compromised by changes to the operation of their brain's dopamine system. 

Fewer dopamine brain receptors mean that teens are living in a distorted reality of what is a fun experience and what is not for them. They are more dependent on the use of mobile phone technology as opposed to social interaction with others without the aid of a mobile phone device. 

Teens skating at an ice rink.Ice skating is a good solution to excessive cell phone addiction.

Teens rely more on their mobile phones to get the “feel good” experience that they should normally get when not using their mobile phones. The endless cycle of sending more texts, downloading more apps and joining more social media channels means they are embarking on the emotional roller coaster difficulties of moments of happiness followed by many disappointments. This eventually results in teen depression symptoms.

Psychologists, who have studied teen addiction to mobile phone texting, report that this condition results in many behavioral issues. Mobile phone dependent teens are more distracted in school, experience higher levels of anxiety and diminished amounts of sleep at night. In one study, teens between the ages of fifteen and nineteen describe themselves as addicted to their phones. Another study reports that 30 percent of teens are depressed when they do not have access to their mobile phones. Only half of today's teens think they are addicted to their mobile phone devices and may display teen depression symptoms according to a new poll.

Cell phone addiction solutions

Parents can help their teen overcome their mobile phone addiction problem in many ways. Taking away a teen's mobile phone is not the solution. Teens will object to not having access to their way of reaching out to others. Here are some recommended solutions to try to coax your teen away from their dependency on teen chat center mobile phone addition.

  • Using an app that displays how many times a day teens use their mobile phone might make them more aware of their mobile phone addiction problem.
  • Establish rules that teens must do all the things on their to-do list for the day before they can use their mobile phones.
  • Encourage teens to read a book when they are bored instead of using a mobile phone.
  • Establish weekly goals that will help teens slow down on their mobile phone usage.
  • Encourage family members to “silence” their mobile phone devices during meal times.
  • Ban the use of mobile phones while driving or walking to encourage safety habits.
  • Create “no mobile phone” zones and designate certain times of the day when teens can text or access social media channels.

However, although teens may spend many hours using their mobile phone devices, it does not mean that every teen is a mobile phone addict. Teens use their devices mainly to communicate with friends and family. They live in a mobile technology world. Most teens use their mobile phone devices to find information on the Internet for homework assignments in school, access social media channels and find out about concerts, movies or other entertainment events. They also check weather forecasts, play internet games and embrace mobile phone apps for many other reasons.  

Exploring the causes of mobile addiction

 There are different rehabilitation centers that specialize in teen mobile phone addiction treatment to help teens overcome mobile phone addiction problems ..

Restart Center provides outpatient teen treatment with individualized assessments. Teens will receive counseling from certified staff and life coaching that addresses interpersonal developmental issues.

Paradigm Malibu Adolescent Treatment Program establishes limits on mobile phone usage while in treatment. Individual treatment is offered. The program provides assessments for co-occurring disorders.

Family Bootcamp teaches teens to use technology responsibly to prevent the development of technology addiction. Therapists and outdoor specialists lead teens in a wilderness expedition program that teaches teens to learn to live without technology.

Have your teen take a phone addiction test . Links to more cell phone addiction articles .

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