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Young people in the American society are attached to technology. While cell phone use is inevitable, it can be harmful to teens that do not use it in moderation.

teen on cell phoneGeneral Information

Teenagers who struggle with cell phone addiction often use it as an escape from the real world. The adolescents in treatment at Pacific Teen Treatment are intelligent, young individuals who have learned to use negative coping skills to manage challenging emotions. Extreme overuse of one’s cell phone fills the same void as other negative coping skills for teens.

A teen that is on his or her phone does not mean that he or she is in need of being on his or her phone or is doing anything specific. He or she may simply be obsessively scrolling through his or her apps while staring at the screen. Some teens may use several different types of social media on their phone (i.e. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Pinterest…etc.). Others may play any number of games on their cell phones. There are a myriad of ways an adolescent can spend time on his or her cell phone. When the teen is unable to function without the safety of the presence of his or her phone, it may be indicative of a cell phone addiction.

Cell phone addiction can cause delays and negatively impact a young person’s brain development. Teens can become completely emotionally dysregulated due to excessive and habitual cell phone use. It is highly common for parents to be unable to take away their child’s phone or request reduced phone usage without being met with intense temper tantrums.

Signs & Symptoms

Certain examples of things to look out for if you are concerned your teenager may be suffering from cell phone addiction are as follows:

• Irritability
• Change in diet
• Agitation
• Difficulty sleeping
• Depression
• Weight fluctuation
• Anxiety
• Fatigue
• Headaches
• Using cell phone when driving
• Excessively checking one’s phone
• Sore neck
• Social avoidance
• Changes in friendships

Many young people that are addicted to their cell phones suffer from low self-esteem and a diminished self-confidence. Overuse of a cell phone may begin as an innocent pastime, but can turn into a habit that can be harmful to a young persons growth.


Pacific Teen Treatment offers a variety of therapeutic modalities to help treat clients struggling with cell phone addiction, in a personalized way. We carefully create individualized treatment plans that are unique to each of our clients. Some of the therapeutic modalities that we utilize include: talk therapy, expressive arts therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT).

Young people who suffer from cell phone addiction will learn to use their phones in moderation. It is impossible and unrealistic to attempt to teach abstinence when it comes to cell phone use, as they are an integral part of society. The goal of treatment for a teenager who is addicted to his or her cell phone is to instill a proper, healthy, and sustainable length of time for which to use his or her cell phone and provide alternative coping mechanisms for his or her emotions.

At Pacific Teen Treatment, we find it essential to help treat an entire person, as a whole. Though therapy is our main focus, we also emphasize the importance of proper eating habits, regular exercise, and obtaining adequate sleep. Our clients will abide by a daily schedule, which can be beneficial for learning and practicing healthy daily habits. We encourage our teens to participate in daily relaxation techniques such as yoga and/ or mediation, to help regulate emotions and promote connecting to and checking in with one’s body. Providing our clients with a known schedule that is filled with healthy and self-healing activities create a solid foundation from which continued recovery can occur.

Further Information

Seeking help is never easy, but you are not alone! If you or someone you know is in need of mental health treatment, we strongly encourage you to reach out for help as quickly as possible. It is not uncommon for many mental health difficulties to impact a person’s life, long term. Seeking support at the beginning of one’s journey can put the individual in the best position to learn how to manage themselves in a healthy way so they can go on to live happy and fulfilling lives.

Our knowledgeable admissions team can be reached 24/7 at  or call: (800) 531-5769

We are available to answer any questions you may have regarding mental health treatment and our residential program, anytime. Contact us today using the form to the right.

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