Smart Phones: The Impact of Screen Time

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Adolescent Depression has reached epidemic proportions in the age of pop culture. Marked by self-destructive behaviors such as suicidal ideation, cutting, isolation and peer-on-peer violence, like other diagnoses, Adolescent Depression is often missed by mental health professionals.

Misdiagnosed as addictive personality disorder, bi-polar disease, borderline personality disorder and classic narcissistic behavior, Adolescent Depression can be a silent killer. Most parents, school and religious clergy are not educated about the signs of depression in youth. Neither are they capable of responding effectively when a youth is in the midst of a break.

Little girl playing games or using app on tablet sitting on white coach in living room. Beautiful kid girl sitting on cozy white home sofa with blanket and looking at smartphone screen
Social media contributes to Adolescent Depression going undiagnosed. Increased dependence on social validation via strangers on the internet or in gaming circles where there is no real human interaction is fertile ground for mental health issues to blossom into full on psychotic breaks.

Parents are encouraged to limit screen time and encourage in person interactions of adolescents in positive social settings. This not only helps young people develop social skills it helps prepare them for adult life.

Dr. Lesleigh Franklin is a leading clinician and youth advocate.