Screen Time Addiction

What is screen time addiction?

Excessive screen time is a mental health issue that is becoming a serious problem among American children. It occurs when kids spend so much time-consuming information and entertainment through their phones, tablets, and other screens that they begin to exhibit negative behaviors that resemble those seen in addiction. There is no question that technology has improved our lives in many ways. However, excessive screen time is a serious problem.


Adults can also spend unhealthy amounts of time using technology. However, because children go through essential stages of brain development, the problem is much more severe and often requires professional intervention to establish a healthier approach to technology. 

What are some signs that indicate too much screen time?

Knowing what to look for can help you understand when to take action. Signs include:

  • Lying about the extent of screen time
  • Preoccupation with screens of any sort
  • Lack of interest in other activities
  • Symptoms of withdrawal when screen time is limited such as irritability, anxiety, or sadness
  • Increased tolerance to long stretches of screen time
  • Continuing to use technology even in the face of negative consequences
  • Inability to regulate or reduce screen time
  • Using screen time to alter or escape negative moods

Virtually all kids have some degree of reliance on screens, whether in school, for entertainment, or as a means of communicating with friends and family. However, it may be time to take action if your child shows problematic symptoms.

How to treat screen time addiction?

Research suggests that kids who spend hours each day using technology can develop a long list of mental health and cognitive issues. Fortunately, there are ways to help improve your child’s unhealthy habits.

You may find it hard to set limits on screen time, especially if your child displays extreme resistance or tantrums. Working with Dr. Aman can offer guidance and support and help make positive changes.

He first assesses your child to determine if the unwanted behavioral or cognitive issues are caused by excessive screen time. Next, he creates a customized treatment plan that aligns with your child’s needs and your family dynamics.

Setting limits, finding other ways to be entertained or connect with others, and learning how to self-regulate screen time play a role. You learn how to create and enforce limits, and your child learns how to channel their energy and focus on other activities.

Screens are here to stay, but that doesn’t mean families have to accept excessive screen time. At Brightstar Psychiatry, you have the support and care needed to begin a healthier path for your child and family. Call today to book a visit.



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