Teenagers are notorious for always being on their phones, tablets, or other devices. Talking with friends, posting on social media, and playing games can take up a large chunk of their time. But could this habit be hurting them? For some teens, anxiety and social media go hand-in-hand. For others, compulsive use of their devicescould indicate a problem.

So what is it that could be causing anxiety or device misuse behavior in your teen? Find out more from the experts at Ascend Healthcare.

More than 90% of teens go online at least once a day, and many teens admit that they are online almost constantly. While the internet is now a necessity for school, socializing, and many other facets of life, when screens take over from real life, there may be cause for concern.

Selfies & Self-Esteem

Social media use, in particular, can impact teens in significant ways. When a teen posts a selfie on social media and receives likes or comments, it can activate the brain’s reward system, releasing dopamine. This feels good, and they will want to seek out the response again. Now, your teen is chasing those happy feelings by posting more selfies and sharing more about their life.

Why Are Selfies Bad?

Posting selfies on social media could also be linked to anxiety. Teens who post tons of photos of themselves online are more likely to worry about what they look like or compare themselves to others. This constant evaluation can lead to low self-esteem, which is connected to both anxiety and depression.

Helping Teens Avoid Anxiety & Social Media

While social media isn’t always a negative part of teens’ lives, parents should be mindful of its impact. Teens who spend a significant amount of time online and who exhibit signs of anxiety or depression might be struggling with device misuse and could benefit from professional help. Don’t let their selfies and self-esteemblend into one. Talk to them about healthy self-image, device use, and general mental health!

Help for Anxiety and Device Management

Now you know why selfies are bad for the emotional and mental welfare of many adolescents, but what can you do if your teen is too far gone? Healthy boundaries around devices can be a helpful tool for teens who struggle with device management. In situations where device use becomes compulsive, a professional treatment program can help teens process how they’re feeling, learn more about how anxiety and social media may impact them, and develop healthy coping skills for the future.

One of the most telling signs that a teen should enter a residential treatment program is if their anxiety or social media use interferes with daily activities. You might notice that they’ve started to experience problems at school, have trouble sleeping, or engage in conflict with loved ones due to their mental health.

Contact Ascend Healthcare Today

At our mental health treatment facility in California, we help teens who are struggling with anxiety thrive. We incorporate evidence-based and experiential therapies into each client’s treatment plan to ensure they have the tools they need to find a better path towards mental health.