Teen Cellphone Addiction Treatment

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Cellphones and smartphones have become ubiquitous over the last 10 years – in other words, practically everyone seems to have one.

Some people, however, find it difficult to put their phone down. Instead of appreciating the world around them, they spend their time obsessively texting, checking their email or playing games.

They might have cellphone addiction.

What Is Cellphone Addiction?

Cellphone addiction – like other forms of addiction – involves a compulsive activity that cannot be stopped even after said activity starts to negatively influence the person’s quality of life. People who live with cellphone addiction might neglect deadlines, social interactions and basic safety in favor of checking their cellphone.

Cellphone addiction has not yet been listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fifth edition, or DSM-5. More research will be necessary before it can be considered an official disorder. Still, it is possible to treat cellphone addiction much like other behavioral addictions, including gambling disorder.

Symptoms of Cellphone Addiction

Addiction to mobile phones can result in both mental and physical symptoms.

Mental symptoms include:

  • Needing to use the phone more and more to experience the same rush
  • Repeated failed attempts at cutting back on cellphone use
  • Frustration or anxiety when away from cellphone
  • Using cellphone despite negative effects at work or school

Physical symptoms include:

  • Eyestrain from too much screen time
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Neck and back problems

Cellphone addiction doesn’t only hinder productivity. People who are addicted to smartphones might find themselves distancing themselves from their loved ones in favor of texting, checking social media or even engaging in dangerous behaviors, such as texting while driving.

Cellphone Addiction Treatment

As mentioned previously, addiction to mobile phones is not yet included in the DSM-5, the so-called “bible” of mental illness. That being said, it IS possible to receive professional mobile phone addiction treatment in a professional treatment setting.

Cognitive behavioral therapy – a therapeutic technique that involves identifying and then correcting maladaptive thought patterns – is one way in which teens can recover from cellphone addiction. Individual, group and family therapy can also be helpful. Behavioral therapy, such as following concrete rules for cellphone usage and setting up phone-free hours, can also be helpful.

Many adolescents who are addicted to cellphones struggle with a co-occurring condition such as depression or anxiety. Rather than face their symptoms, teens may prefer to lose themselves in social media or other parts of the internet. For this reason, receiving professional treatment for co-occurring disorders can also limit the negative effects of cellphone addiction.

At Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego’s cellphone addiction rehab, all adolescent patients receive a thorough physical and mental exam during the admissions process. During this evaluation, clinicians attempt to diagnose any co-occurring conditions that might be influencing behavioral disorders such as cellphone addiction. Patients then receive individualized treatment plans with their unique needs in mind, increasing their likelihood of making a full and lasting recovery.

For more information about our cellphone addiction rehab and behavioral health treatment at Sovereign Health of Rancho San Diego, contact our 24/7 helpline.

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