los angeles cell phone video game electronics addiction therapy

In the past seven years or so, I’ve seen a noticeable increase in teens and emerging adults with unhealthy relationships with their electronics. They’re relying on their cell phone, the internet and social media, or video/computer games in a concerning way. In such a technology-driven world, it can be difficult to know if the behavior is normative or a legitimate cause for concern… Could it really be an electronics addiction?

How do you know if your child has a problem?

Below are some characteristics of someone with an unhealthy or “addictive” relationship with their electronics. Think about your child’s cell phone, internet, and/or video/computer game usage as you read through the list. If you see your child’s behavior reflected in 3 or more of these statements, then there may be cause for concern and a need to seek out assistance for your child.

  1. Using electronics for longer than originally intended.
  2. Wanting to cut down or stop using electronics but not managing to.
  3. Cravings and urges to use electronics.
  4. Not managing to do what you should at work, home, or school because of electronics usage.
  5. Continuing to overuse electronics, even when it causes problems in relationships.
  6. Giving up or missing out on important social, occupational, or recreational activities because of electronics usage.
  7. Continuing to overuse, even when you know you have a physical or psychological problem that could have been caused or made worse by electronics usage.
  8. Feeling the need to increase electronics usage to get the effect you want.
  9. Extreme irritability, sadness, or anger and/or preoccupation with the next opportunity to use electronics when forced to abstain from usage, even if only for a short period of time.
  10. Lying to others about electronics usage or hiding usage from others.


Does your teen or emerging adult have an electronics addiction? Contact Dr. Crystal I. Lee for a free 20 minute consultation to see how she can help.