A Link Between Technology and Depression?

We have all seen it. A child, a teen, or even an adult who seems unable to walk away from the computer/cell phone or other electronic device. I think most of us already recognize that this is a problem. The person becomes more and more isolated and less and less engaged with the world and people around them. Social skills, school work, sleep all can suffer.

Undoubtedly there are lots of studies underway. NPR reports, that in this journal Clinical Psychological Science article, San Diego State University psychologist Jean Twenge finds that though they have not established that technology ’causes’ an increase in depression and suicide, they have been

technology, internet addiction and people concept – happy teenage friends with smartphones outdoors

about to “establish a correlation between long hours of daily screen time and symptoms of alienation” and this should be a warning for parents.

In order to be healthy and happy we must establish relationships with others and take part in the world around us. This becomes harder and harder as more and more time is spent with technology. Our ability to carry on a conversation and to relate to what others are feeling diminishes. This can cause feelings of discomfort that seem to justify not engaging with others, leading to an even greater urge to withdraw to technology, but ultimately, this can be very dangerous. “One hour, maybe two hours [a day], doesn’t increase risk all that much,” Twenge says. “But once you get to three hours — and especially four and then, really, five hours and beyond — that’s where there’s much more significant risk of suicide attempts, thinking about suicide and major depression.”

It can be hard to get kids and teens to put the technology down, but we have found that the lure of horses can be pretty powerful too! Our clients are encourage to build a relationship with ‘their’ horse. They learn about horse and herd behavior and why horses do what they do. They participate in simple, soothing exercises (grooming) and learn to reconnect with the world around. Though the pace slows down, they still have many things to be aware of while working with their horse, causing them to open themselves up to what is going on around them. Though our sessions are one-on-one, there are often opportunities to interact with a variety of staff and other clients. We give them something else to think about and to talk about. We offer support and encouragement for them to be a part of the social world around them and they discover that this can be a wonderful and rich place to be.

If you have a child or teen that is shutting down and withdrawing into world of technology to the exclusion of all the other wonderful things life has to offer, you may need to seek a powerful intervention. We are here to help. Call or email us and we will schedule a visit to the ranch. We will show you around, introduce you to our wonderful herd, learn more about what you are dealing with and we will share how we may be able to help. Now is the time to make a change!

This entry was posted in Addiction, Anxiety Disorders, Asperger's, Autism, Bipolar, Children's issues, Depression, Eating Disorders, In my opinion, Mental Health, OCD, Teens. Bookmark the permalink.

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