Adolescents today face a world with different challenges than what adults grew up experiencing. To parents of adolescents, understanding your children’s internet habits and determining how much time spent online is too much is difficult to discern when your child’s daily lives are so deeply interwoven with it. If you are concerned about your teenager’s internet habits, understanding the warning signs of internet addiction and how your child may be affected can help you encourage a more positive relationship between your adolescent and their time online and find help if necessary.
What is Internet Addiction?
Just because your teenager doesn’t want to put their phone down doesn’t mean they have a full-blown internet addiction. Internet use disorder, or internet addiction, doesn’t happen unless the uncontrolled use of the internet interferes with your teen’s daily life out in the real world.
The use of the internet in this disorder is not limited to just one activity but covers several different activities, including excessively using social media, blogging, gaming, gambling, or pornography. When constantly going online for one or several of these activities affects a teen’s physical health or social skills, this becomes a reason for concern of addiction.
Discussing internet addiction in teens can not be complete without discussing one of the major underlying causes of developing this type of addiction. Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety are an underlying thread that makes teens more susceptible to developing an internet addiction. Other co-occurring disorders may be influencing factors developing this addiction, like obsessive-compulsive disorder or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
Warning Signs in Your Teen of Internet Use Disorder
- Prioritizing time online over time with friends
- Malaise and not getting proper sleep due to late nights online
- Ignoring schoolwork resulting in grades suffering
- Disheveled appearance and lack of hygiene from excessive time spent online
- Increased anxiety if can’t spend time online and irritable when questioned about their online habits
- Isolated from other hobbies and activities with the internet as a sole hobby
Internet use disorder affects a teenager’s health and well-being, so if you’re worried about your teenager spending an unhealthy amount of time online, learning about the signs and symptoms of internet addiction can help you distinguish if they have a true dependency. Additionally, if your teenager has a preexisting mental health condition, this can increase their likelihood of developing an addiction. Getting the proper help for their addiction is the first step towards recovery. Avalon Malibu is a renowned California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery treatment center. At Avalon, our dedicated staff is committed to making you feel supported in your treatment. If you are ready to seek treatment and begin working towards a life of balance and well-being, call us today at (844) 857-5992.
Your teen may have an internet addiction if they ignore their schoolwork, friends, grades, and sleep because of too much time online. Call (844) 857-5992.