Screen addiction is just as destructive as any other addiction, despite the lack of presence of a drug or drink. Users show an intense emotional attachment to their online experiences whether it be to make friends, socialise, seek comfort and fun, or to share thoughts through blogging for example. In danger of using this virtual world as a substitution for real-life human connection, the ability to achieve these connections face-to-face decreases rapidly.
The warning signs are similar to those related to a substance addiction where there is a preoccupation with the forum, whatever the hardware. Satisfaction is increasingly evasive and more and more time is spent ‘chasing the high’ with repeated failed attempts to cut back or control use. Feelings of restlessness and irritation follow ‘absence’ as the user experiences symptoms similar to withdrawal. Isolation and social anxiety is heightened as less time is spent learning how to interact with ‘real life human beings’ and more time is spent in the confines of a virtual-world. Often the user will use screens to escape negative feelings, without realising that their addiction is fuelling their depressive symptoms, so arguments ensue when family and loved ones try to intervene and help.
Screen use and the intense disagreements and arguments that ensue are the most common topic brought by families at the parenting evenings in Independent Schools, provided by Mandy Saligari. Without doubt, technology paves the way to the future, and our children must be adept, but at what cost? Screens are beginning to dominate even the most sporty and boundaried households, and many parents are worried as they standby feeling helpless to intervene. TVs, laptops, tablets, phones – we give our children all the hardware and yet do not teach them effective self-regulation. It is important to realise that self-regulation around screens, in other words how to manage the use of them, and the feelings that come up and subsequent behaviour, will help your child take responsibility later in life around other potent substances that operate on similar pathways in the brain. The opportunity is to learn how to step back and parent your child into responsible management of their screens rather than getting caught up in the battles, and losing your cool. Readmore +
At CHARTER we can help you to do exactly this through the ‘Parenting for Prevention’ method taught by Mandy Saligari and supported in the popular weekly Family Group.
For those who have partners who are addicted to their screens, there is often a connection to an intimacy disorder so that a person ‘hides’ from social and intimate contact through the virtual contact of the screen experience. Where this is the case, Couples Therapy can be extremely effective to help challenge the behaviours, foster better communication and support both parties through the withdrawal stages and into a more interactive relationship.
We are always happy to answer any questions you may have. You can make an appointment with our assessment team using the enquiries form below or simply give us a call so that we can discuss your treatment options and how we can help you or a member of your family.
We also have a library of useful documents for you to download and read in our PDF Library.PDF LIBRARY
We only collect non personally identifiable information about how this website is being used
Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways:
We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you enter, submit, or access your personal information
We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses