Teenagers rely heavily on smartphones to stay informed about the world and keep in touch with their friends. It has become increasingly common for teenagers to develop process addictions to smartphones, social media, and video games. A teen smartphone addiction requires professional help to overcome.
Smartphone addiction can be very difficult for parents to deal with. When a teen is addicted to smartphones, parents watch their child struggle due to an obsession with phone use and likely deal with difficult behaviors when they try to intervene.
Can My Teen Be Addicted to Smartphones?
Addiction to smartphones is real and often requires professional treatment to overcome. This type of addiction is called process addiction, which describes addiction as the actions associated with an activity. Addiction to smartphones is just one type of process addiction. Other common forms include gambling and shopping.
Signs that a teen is addicted to their smartphone include:
- Constant phone use
- Anxiety or anger when the phone is taken away
- Smartphones are used throughout the night
- Needing a smartphone while eating or using the restroom
- Relationships become secondary to phone use
- Phone use impacts academics, hobbies, or other areas of life
Parents need to understand that for a teen addicted to smartphones, the compulsion to use a phone is just as strong as drug addiction. The ability to put down a phone or only use it in moderation must be learned with the help of mental health professionals at a teen process addiction treatment center.
Understanding How Apps Drive Addiction of Smartphone Users
Apps lie at the center of smartphone addiction. Smartphone addiction treatment aims to help teens build awareness of their phone habits. However, looking at which apps a teen can use sheds light on why they’re addicted.
Most teens addicted to smartphones use two main types of apps – social media apps and gaming apps.
Social Media Apps
Teenagers these days have access to a wide range of social media apps – and often, they use many at a time. A teen addicted to social media apps likely has several and spends time switching back and forth between them to post, scroll, like, and comment.
Teens develop social media addiction for many reasons. They may use these apps to avoid dissatisfaction with life, social or mental health problems, or because likes and subscribers provide a sense of validation.
The other most popular apps for teens are gaming apps. As with social media apps, gaming apps can offer a powerful way to avoid real-life issues. The challenges of beating a game or rising rankings can become an obsession, as a teen’s brain chemistry seeks the dopamine produced by such an accomplishment.
Both gaming addiction and social media addiction are process addictions in their own right. It’s common for teenagers with a smartphone addiction to use both apps, providing a sense of novelty, distraction, or satisfaction.
Treat Teen Addiction to Smartphones at Foothills at Red Oak Recovery
It can come as a relief to understand that there’s a very real reason why a teen’s attitudes toward a smartphone seem obsessive or unmanageable. Smartphone addiction can be effectively treated with professional help.
Foothills at Red Oak Recovery is an adolescent treatment center that helps teenage boys overcome process addictions. Treating the addiction of smartphone users helps a teen understand the underlying motivators that have led to the addiction and offer tools for learning how to manage smartphone use.
For more information on how to help your teen overcome smartphone addiction, call 866.300.5275 and ask about the smartphone addiction treatment program at Foothills for Red Oak Recovery.