Is your child addicted to electronic media?

Is your child addicted to electronic media?

More and more parents are becoming aware of the potential negative effects of electronic media (e.g. social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) video games, YouTube, etc.). You may have noticed that more is being written and discussed regarding how it is actually the aim of electronic media platforms to capture the minds of people, especially children, and exploit them for profit. As one article states: “With each passing day, new and more influential persuasive technologies are being deployed to better take advantage of children’s and teens’ inherent limitations.”

Persuasive technology and children effects

This field of research is called “persuasive technology”, in which digital machines and apps- including smart phones, social media, and video games- are designed to change human thoughts and behaviors. This field is based on psychological research and seeks to create digital environments that users will feel fulfill their basic human drives (e.g. to be social, to attain goals and objectives) better and more easily than the real world alternatives. While persuasion techniques work well on adults, they are particularly effective at influencing the still-maturing child and teen brain. The end result is that many children and adolescents wind up feeling the “need” to spend countless hours in social media or playing video games in order to feel happy and successful. In doing so, many of the developmentally important activities of childhood are ignored, and some children feel empty and unfulfilled if they are not allowed to spend time with their electronics. Consequently, an addictive like reliance on the electronic medium develops. You can learn more about the subject at the Stanford Persuasive Tech Lab website.

As with all possible addictions, some people are more susceptible to a particular addiction than are others. But just as parents in today’s world need to be on the lookout for signs in their children of addiction to drugs and alcohol, they should be vigilant for signs of addiction to electronics. There are some general things to be looking for which may suggest the presence of an addiction to anything such as noticeable changes in your child’s mood (e.g. mood swings, increased irritability) and/or behavior (e.g. altered sleep patterns, declining academic interest and performance, etc.)

Child playing with an iPad

Is my child addicted to technology? 

Some specific things to be on the lookout for to suggest a possible problem with the use of electronics are things like: angry, defiant reactions to attempts to limit electronics use; use of electronics when the person would otherwise be sleeping; sneaking the electronic device into their bedroom after having been told to leave it out of the bedroom; missing family or social functions due to electronics use; a decline in interest in other activities; etc.

How do I help my child with technology addiction?

If, as a parent, you become concerned with your child’s use of electronics, there are things you can try to implement to help if you have not already done so. Here is a list of technology addiction habits you can try:

  • Institute periods of “tech time out” where all the electronics in the house are to be turned off for certain specified periods during the day.
  • Instate tech free days or even weekends to provide your child with breaks from electronics and a time where other activities may be encouraged.
  • Make your child’s bedroom be technology free by removing televisions, computers, cell phones, etc. This way you can be sure that when your child is in their bedroom they are not engaging in the use of electronics.

If you have tried these and other things and you continue to be concerned with your child’s use of electronics it may be time to seek the advice of a professional experienced in this area. There is emerging research to suggest that excessive use of electronics can actually have adverse effects on a person’s brain. At Sadar Psychological and Sports Center we have ways to evaluate the person and their brain functioning to determine if and what interventions might be considered to address current problems or to avoid future problems.

Give us a call if you want to know more. We will be more than happy to help you find the right treatment for your condition.

Understand your Condition is Our Mission

Give us a call if you have questions about Neurofeedback or Biofeedback. We will be happy to explain how these non-medicated therapies can help in a multitude of conditions like migraine, ADHD, Anxiety, Autism and more.

Appointments are Available.

Concussion and Sports: A Balanced Perspective

Concussion and Sports: A Balanced Perspective

Concussion is a potential threat in everyday life (e.g. motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall incidents, etc.). The risk of concussion is increased when we engage in sports, but we should not let the increased risk keep us from participating in activities to which we are drawn to participate. The answer lies in acknowledging the risk of concussion and taking appropriate precautions to help to prevent the possible residual effects of concussion before and if one occurs.

It is good to be aware of the possibility and risks associated with concussions, but let’s not let the pendulum swing too far in the other direction where we are unnecessarily fearful of the risk, where it robs us of participating in the things to which we are attracted. It is good that recent events in the National Football League (NFL) have brought the risk and effects of undiagnosed and untreated concussion into public awareness. It must also be recognized that the NFL represents a level of risk to its players that is not present to the average person. Just think of the hundreds of thousands of boys who played some level of football less than pro and who matured without the sorts of residual effects being described by some NFL players. The data does not exist, but one must suspect a similar comparison could be found, for example, between professional female soccer players and girls/women playing soccer at lesser levels of competition.

What can be done to mitigate the risk of concussion and allow us to lead full and active lives with relative confidence that we will be OK from a long-term perspective?

  • We must recognize that many sports carry an increased risk for all sorts of injuries (e.g. broken bones, sprains, torn cartilage, dislocations, etc.).
  • We can apply common sense precautions such as wearing and using the proper equipment for your sport help to decrease the risk of injury, including concussion.
  • Consider obtaining a pre-concussion screening. Baseline testing before a concussion occurs allows for a comparison with the individual’s pre-concussion functioning as a guide to judge when it is appropriate to return to various levels of activity.

Educate yourself about the signs and symptoms of concussion.

If you follow these steps, the probability of suffering any long-term negative effects of a concussion will be greatly reduced.

  • There are on-line resources to read (e.g. https://sadarpsych.com/services/concussion-screening/)
  • View (e.g. YouTube videos on symptoms of concussions).
  • Seek medical attention if the initial symptoms are significant (e.g. loss of consciousness, vomiting, memory loss, etc.) or if symptoms worsen with the passage of time. A medical evaluation will help to rule out any structural damage.

Even if the medical tests are negative (i.e. CT scan, MRI) it is possible that damage not visible to such technology has occurred such as the ripping or tearing of neurons. Consequently, if symptoms continue or become worse with time after overt structural damage has been ruled out, consider further evaluation (e.g. functional EEG evaluation). It will be important to see a provider who is familiar with concussions if/when the symptoms continue for more than three weeks. Your provider can develop a progressive exertion program (both mental and physical) together with symptoms to monitor so the exertion program can be stopped if/when symptoms return.

Visit our Concussion Screening Services page to know more about its benefits. 

Give us a call if you want to know more. We will be more than happy to help you find the right treatment for your condition.

Understand your Condition is Our Mission

Give us a call if you have questions about Neurofeedback or Biofeedback. We will be happy to explain how these non-medicated therapies can help in a multitude of conditions like migraine, ADHD, Anxiety, Autism and more.

Appointments are Available.

How to choose a Biofeedback Provider?

How to choose a Biofeedback Provider?

Questionnaire for Choosing a Biofeedback Provider

When you need to choose a biofeedback provider, multiple questions come to mind and we highly advice that you make an informed decision and not just go with the feeling.

Here is a quick questionnaire that can help you evaluate services from a biofeedback practitioner so you make the best decision. 

  • Is the person a licensed practitioner in their field of mental or medical health?
  • Have they been providing biofeedback services for at least a year in the area where you are seeking help or are they otherwise qualified? (ie., PTSD, Chronic Pain, Depression)
  • If practicing less than a year, are they being mentored by an experienced, licensed mental health professional?
  • Have they discussed with you the options for how to assess your needs?
  • Do you feel the provider is able to help you be well informed about the training you are receiving?
  • Not necessary, but an additional thing that can add to your confidence in making your selection is if they have a certification from the Biofeedback Certification International Alliance (BCIA). Being board certified means you have met the minimum requirements, but does not address your level of expertise. It is advisable to select a board certified provider. Of course, as with anything else, a positive report about the person from someone you know, whose opinion you trust, should carry a lot of weight.

Want to know more about non-medication alternatives to various conditions like Migraine, chronic pain, ADHD, Stress using Neurofeedback or Biofeedback techniques, then keep reading.

Give us a call if you want to know more. We will be more than happy to help you find the right treatment for your condition.

Is your child addicted to electronic media?

Is your child addicted to electronic media?

More and more parents are becoming aware of the potential negative effects of electronic media (e.g. social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc.) video games, YouTube, etc.). You may have noticed that more is being written and discussed regarding how it is actually the...

read more
Concussion and Sports: A Balanced Perspective

Concussion and Sports: A Balanced Perspective

Concussion is a potential threat in everyday life (e.g. motor vehicle accidents, slip and fall incidents, etc.). The risk of concussion is increased when we engage in sports, but we should not let the increased risk keep us from participating in activities to which we...

read more

Understand your Condition is Our Mission

Give us a call if you have questions about Neurofeedback or Biofeedback. We will be happy to explain how these non-medicated therapies can help in a multitude of conditions like migraine, ADHD, Anxiety, Autism and more.

Appointments are Available.

Alternative Treatments to Suspend Medication Use During Pregnancy

Research on Decreasing Migraine Medication During Pregnancy

The Northeast Region Biofeedback Society (NRBS) Conference was held in November 2015. As always, it was a great Conference. I learned from all of the speakers, but one speaker made a particular impression on me; Dr. Jeff Carmen talked about the use of biofeedback, specifically pirHEG which he invented, in the treatment of migraines for women who were looking to get pregnant or who were pregnant. He made the point that the typical approach for such women was to be told by their physicians to stop their migraine medication and to “tough it out” during the course of their pregnancy.

This was, of course, suggested to avoid exposing the developing fetus to the chemicals that comprise the migraine medications. (more…)

Biofeedback Conference (AAPB)

Biofeedback Conference

I recently attended the Association for Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback (AAPB) conference held in Austin, Texas. It was an excellent conference, with many informative and useful workshops. I came away from the conference with messages from two of the Keynote Speakers that I thought to be of particular importance for public consumption. What follows is a brief summary of those two:

Anxiety as a Contributor to Mortality and Ways to Combat It

One of the Keynote Speakers, Dr. Julian Thayer, has published over 250 research papers and  (more…)