Treating Tech Addiction
Dr. Nicholas Kardaras believes that screens can be more difficult to treat than drugs. Its no surprise that screen usage has skyrocketed, the actual numbers are nonetheless staggering: the average American adult spends more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening and interacting with screens. Clinically, screen addiction looks like any other addiction and characterized by a person continuing to engage in problematic behavior which negatively impacts their life. Those addicted to screens have seen their schooling, job prospects, and personal relationships suffer or even destroyed as a result of their addiction to screens and technology.
The Clinical, Neurological and Behavioral Effects of Screens
Dr. Nicholas Kardaras:
“Are we still in the game?”
Those 6 words were asked of me almost 10 years ago by a confused and delusional client who was a video-game addict having an episode of Video Game-Induced Psychosis. That exchange was the beginning of an eye-opening, decade-long exploration into the clinical and neurological impacts of screens on kids.
Mental Health Consequences
A study of Chinese high school students (2010) suggests that individuals with moderate to severe risk of Internet addiction are 2.5 times more likely to develop depressive symptoms than their IAD-free counterparts.
The best-documented evidence of Internet addiction so far is time-disruption, which subsequently results in interference with regular social life, including academic, professional performance and daily routines
Dr. Keith W. Beard (2005) states that “an individual is addicted when an individual’s psychological state, which includes both mental and emotional states, as well as their scholastic, occupational and social interactions, is impaired by the overuse of the Internet
Internet addiction disorder is used interchangeably with problematic Internet use, pathological Internet use, and Internet addictive disorder. In some cases, this behavior is also referred to as Internet overuse, problematic computer use, compulsive Internet use, Internet abuse, harmful use of the Internet, and Internet dependency.
Physical symptoms include a weakened immune system due to lack of sleep, loss of exercise, and increased the risk for carpel tunnel syndrome and eye and back strain.
Symptoms of withdrawal might include agitation, depression, anger and anxiety when the person is away from technology. These psychological symptoms might even turn into physical symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, tense shoulders and shortness of breath.
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