92% of teens are online daily.
24% of teens go online ‘constantly’.
While Internet Addiction Disorder started as a joke , it is now becoming a reality for many people.
Although Internet Addiction Disorder is not yet an official disorder in the U.S., it has been classified as a clinical disorder in China, where even treatment centers have been opened to help teenagers.
SIGNS OF INTERNET ADDICTION
- Excessive use (many hours), often checking the their social media first thing in the morning, throughout the day and before sleeping.
- Anxiety, irritability or depression when access to smartphone/laptop/tablet is taken away.
- Academic problems such as dropping grades, missing assignments, disengaged from or sleeping in class.
- Disinterested in hobbies and pastimes they used to enjoy earlier.
- Avoiding responsibilities such as school work and chores.
- Not maintaining personal hygiene.
- Change in sleeping/eating patterns.
Many internet addiction symptoms are similar to symptoms of substance abuse problem. This is due to the fact that under brain scans, both internet addiction disorder and abuse addiction share the same neurological footprint.
How can you help?
Parenting teens can be extremely overwhelming and tricky. The best approach is to be very kind, caring and empathetic. Understand their problems and look for solutions that work for both in harmony!