If someone in your family doesn’t seem to be able to put down the phone, it might be time to consider if that’s a problem or not. Smartphone addiction is a recognized condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. That phone use may be more of an issue than you might realize. If you or a teen you know needs treatment for smartphone addiction, please contact Foothills at Red Oak Recovery today at 866.300.5275.
What Is Smartphone Addiction?
The symptoms of smartphone addiction are like other behavioral addictions, such as gambling. Some symptoms of smartphone addiction include:
- No control over the behavior
- Unable to limit phone use
- Needing to the phone more to get the same feeling
- Ignoring negative consequences of smartphone use
- Withdrawal when you try not to stop the behavior
Also, picking up a phone after stopping for a time starts the cycle again.
What Causes Smartphone Addiction?
Smartphone use can affect brain chemistry. The brain releases a chemical that makes you feel good in situations as a reward. Social interaction is one of those situations.
Today, smartphones are a vital tool for communication and socialization. You can access texting, social media, gaming buddies, and, of course, make phone calls. For some, checking their phone triggers the release of the same feel-good chemical.
The purpose of the brain’s reward system is to motivate healthy behaviors like exercise. The approach can backfire, though. If picking up a smartphone triggers that same good feeling, people want to do it again. They also miss that feeling when they don’t use the phone.
How To Separate Yourself From Your Smartphone?
There are things you can do to break that smartphone habit. First, determine how many times you use your phone. There are apps you can get that will keep track of your screen time on the phone. Seeing the numbers might make you more aware of how much time you spend on it.
Also, delete the apps that keep you reaching for the phone. If social media is the biggest culprit, delete Facebook and other platforms. If you want to connect to social media, use a computer.
Next, turn off push notifications on your phone. This will naturally eliminate some of the primary reasons you look at the phone.
Set some boundaries for yourself and your family, too. No phones at the dinner table or when eating is a common choice for many families. You might put a time limitation on phone use, as well. Maybe, you can’t check the phone after 8:30 in the evening.
Along those same lines, set limitations for how long you can be on the phone and how often you can pick it up. Start slow and build. For example, limit your time to five minutes once every half hour. After a week, make it five minutes every hour.
Seek Treatment at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
Foothills at Red Oaks Recovery offers process addiction treatment for adolescent teen boys ages 14 to 17. Process addiction refers to behavioral impulses that are difficult to ignore. They can include smartphone use, video gaming, sex, or shopping.
Teen smartphone addiction treatment would likely include individual and group therapy. The therapists might also do psychological testing to determine if co-occurring conditions might contribute to phone overuse.
Other programs at Foothill at Red Oaks Recovery include:
- Family therapy
- Drug and alcohol treatment
- Equine therapy
- Adventure therapy
When not in school or therapy, our clients participate in gardening, sports, and adventure activities. We work with them to take what they learn from us and apply it to their lives in recovery.
Smartphones are excellent resources, but they shouldn’t control anyone’s life. Call us at 866.300.5275 or go online and fill out our contact form to find out more about the programs at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery.