There are many kinds of addiction that affect different kinds of people. Many individuals suffer from substance use disorder. However, addiction is not the same for everybody. Some may deal with alcohol addiction while others deal with prescription drug addiction.
In addition to these common addictions, there is another that doesn’t get nearly the amount of attention that it should; this has all to do with technology and screen addiction in teens and young adults. Our young adult treatment center treats screen addiction treatment along with many other mental health issues.
What is Addiction?
Addiction is a chronic mental health disorder characterized by compulsive behavior or thought patterns that lead to the misuse of substances or activities. It can cause both physical and psychological harm to individuals, families, and communities. People with addiction may have difficulty controlling their use of certain substances or engaging in particular behaviors, such as gambling or shopping. They may also experience withdrawal symptoms when not engaging in the behavior or using the substance, have cravings for it, and be unable to stop despite understanding the consequences of their actions.
Addiction can affect people from all walks of life and can take many forms. Some common addictions include alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex, shopping, video games, food and technology. People with addiction may try to hide their behavior from others and may become secretive or deceptive. They may also experience feelings of shame, guilt, and depression due to their inability to stop the addictive behavior
Addiction works by affecting the brain’s reward system. This system is responsible for producing feelings of pleasure when certain activities are performed. When an addictive substance or behavior is introduced into this system, it causes a surge of dopamine; dopamine is a neurotransmitter associated with pleasure and reward. This particular neurotransmitter has a massive impact on a person’s overall cognitive functioning in many ways.
Over time, the body becomes accustomed to this release of dopamine and starts to need more to feel the same level of pleasure. This leads to cravings and compulsions to consume more of the addictive substance or behavior to achieve a high of some sort. As addiction progresses, other areas of the brain become affected, such as the frontal cortex which is responsible for decision-making and self-control. People with addiction have difficulty controlling their impulses and may become obsessed with the object of their addiction.
It is possible to become addicted to technology, as with any behavior that brings pleasure. Technology addiction occurs when someone spends excessive amounts of time using digital devices. These may include devices such as smartphones, tablets, computers and social media. Technological dependency can lead to the need for adolescent depression treatment, and treatment for anxiety and low self-esteem. Heavy use of technology can lead to changes in brain chemistry, resulting in an increase in dopamine levels; this can cause people to become dependent on the stimulation technology provides.
Technology provides an immediate sense of gratification. We often don’t realize how much time we spend using our phones or computers. Many people enjoy the convenience of having access to information at their fingertips. It’s also incredibly cool to stay connected with friends and family through social media.
Technology triggers the reward system in the brain, flooding it with dopamine; the rewards associated with technology can be instant and create a feeling of pleasure or satisfaction. This feeling becomes addictive as people keep coming back for more; this can lead to compulsive behaviors like overusing the internet or playing video games for long periods of time.
Another reason why technology is so addictive is because it can provide an escape from reality. Technology offers users a way to step out of their day-to-day lives and into a virtual world where they can be anyone and do anything. This escape can become addictive as people seek to avoid the stresses of everyday life or disconnect from reality for a while.
Technology has also become a staple in our daily lives. Technology is everywhere we turn; from computers at work, to cell phones in our pockets, to tablets at home. We rely on technology for communication, entertainment, productivity and more. This reliance can lead to an addiction as people find it difficult to turn away from their devices and disconnect from the world of technology.
Technology and screen addiction have the potential to cause long-term, detrimental effects on an individual’s physical and mental health. Prolonged exposure to screens can lead to vision problems, such as nearsightedness or astigmatism. It can also lead to neck, shoulder, and back pain from poor posture when using devices for extended periods of time. Furthermore, screen addiction can cause sleep problems due to the disruption of circadian rhythms.
Technology and screen addiction can lead to more serious mental health issues for teens and young adults, such as depression and anxiety. Constant access to digital media often results in people comparing themselves to others and feeling inadequate when they compare their lives to those they see online. This comparison trap has been linked with decreased self-esteem and poorer mental health. Additionally, screen addiction can lead to an overall decrease in physical activity due to the sedentary nature of using devices for extended periods of time. This lack of physical activity can have long-term health consequences as well. It is not uncommon for panic attacks in young adults to occur as well.
Technology addiction is a growing problem among teens and young adults. Technology has made it easier for people to stay connected and access endless sources of entertainment. When this technology use becomes excessive or compulsive, it can lead to addiction.
Addiction to technology and screens can lead to serious physical and mental health problems, including poor performance in school or work, sleep deprivation, and depression. It can also lead to increased aggression or isolation as well as relationship problems. Teenagers and young adults who suffer from technology and screen addiction may find themselves prioritizing technology over everything else. They may spend hours on devices browsing social media, gaming, or watching videos.
Technology and screen addiction is becoming increasingly prevalent among teens and young adults. Signs of technology and screen addiction in this age group may include the following:
- Spending excessive amounts of time using devices
- Feeling the need to constantly check social media or emails
- Neglecting real-life relationships in favor of online ones
- Missing out on activities or events due to being glued to a device
- Feeling anxious or irritable when not able to use devices
- Feeling a need to keep up with the latest technology trends
Technology addiction in teens and young adults can have a number of negative consequences. Some of these include the following:
- Interferes with social interactions
- Causes physical health problems
- Leads to decreased academic performance
- Leads to increased levels of depression and anxiety
Technology addiction can also negatively impact teens’ emotional development. Prolonged use of technology can create difficulty for teens in forming relationships with peers and adults, both in person and online. Additionally, teens may experience feelings of isolation if they spend too much time glued to screens.
Teens who are addicted to technology often suffer from physical health problems such as weight gain, headaches, eyestrain, backaches due to poor posture associated with sitting for extended periods of time and carpal tunnel syndrome from typing. They’re also more likely to suffer from poor academic performance, due to the fact that they are unable to focus on their studies and distract themselves with phone and computer activities. This can lead to lower grades, difficulty completing assignments and a lack of engagement in the classroom.
Technology addiction is a real problem that many people are dealing with today. While there isn’t a one-size-fits all answer to treating technology addiction, there are steps that can be taken to reduce its negative effects.
It is important for someone suffering from technology addiction to become aware of their situation and start making positive changes in their life. This might mean setting limits on how much time they spend online or putting away devices at certain times of the day. It is also important to identify what specifically triggers the urge to go online, such as boredom or loneliness, and find alternative activities that can help fill those needs instead.
Another way to treat technology addiction is through therapy and counseling, like Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). Therapists can help individuals identify the underlying issues and triggers that may be causing their addiction. They can also provide strategies to cope with cravings, manage stress, and develop healthier habits. Additionally, our holistic treatments, like art therapy, they can teach mindfulness techniques to help individuals become aware of their emotions in the present moment without resorting to technology for distraction or entertainment.
Screen Addiction Treatment at Innercept
For young adults or teens who are suffering from technology and screen addiction, Innercept offers teen residential treatment that can help. Innercept offers a specific program for ages 13-28 that are dealing with technology addiction. If you or a loved one are interested and would like to find out more, you can contact us here.