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.

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...

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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...

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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.

ADHD Medication Side Effects

ADHD Medication Side Effects

I am writing this as a follow-up to a prior entry which compared medications commonly used to treat ADHD. I again begin with the declaration that I am not a physician, but our work with children and adults has brought me into regular contact with ADHD medications and their effects.

As the previous blog explained, there are chemical differences between the common ADHD medications. While chemically different, the medications do share a common set of potential negative side effects. In our experience the most common are: loss of appetite, decreased sleep, and increased irritability or mood changes. Less prevalent but still noted often enough to be considered as potential side effects are: headaches, dizziness, dry mouth, nausea, and tics. These can decrease across time. It is up to the informed consumer to weigh the degree of benefit against the degree of negative side effects relative to their individual situation. The ideal case is, of course, all benefit and no negative side effects, but in our experience most psychotropic medications cause some type and degree of unwanted side effect. There are, of course, common sense ways to try to decrease negative side effects. For example, if loss of appetite is noted, one can plan a good healthy meal for the time of day that the medication effect is wearing off. Also, one can see that healthy snacks are available for whenever the individual in question feels at all hungry.

While the psychostimulants share common potential negative side effects, different medications can have differing effects on any one individual. So, just because you cannot tolerate a methylphenidate does not mean that you would not tolerate an amphetamine salt. This, of course, has led to the “trial and error” method of prescribing a medication. Another note on side effects: What are listed are the “common” side effects. Everyone’s brain is different. Whenever you start taking any medication it is advisable to monitor yourself for any unexpected changes you might experience and to contact the prescribing physician if you notice anything that seems to correspond to when you began to take the medication.

A potential way to decrease the trial and error process is emerging. This is the qEEG (quantitative electroencephalogram), which is described elsewhere in this website. In brief, this is a way to measure the electrical activity in a person’s brain and compare their activity against a normative database. How this can be relevant to ADHD and ADHD medication is as follows. First, for simplicity sake, let us say that brain waves are composed of slow waves and fast waves. The most common form of ADHD in terms of brain waves involves an excessive amount of slow-wave activity in certain areas of the brain. As it turns out, psychostimulant medication is known to decrease slow-wave activity and increase fast-wave activity. This is great if you are dealing with a case of excess slow-wave activity and no other “abnormalities.” But, what if the person also happens to have excess fast-wave activity to begin with. You give them a psychostimulant and now they have even more fast-wave activity, which raises the probability of unwanted side effects emerging. A qEEG can help to guide the safe and effective prescribing of medication. This is an emerging science, so it certainly has its limitations, but it is something to consider based on your situation.

ADHD Conference

November 2014 Conference (ADHD)

Angelika and I, as Executive Director and Board President of the Northeast Regional Biofeedback Society (NRBS) respectively, were involved in the recent three-day conference on ADHD: Biomarkers, Biofeedback, and Interventions.  Angelika was instrumental in the setting up and running of the conference, which was well attended and well received.  The Conference had much to say about diagnosis, treatment, ethical questions, etc. (more…)

There’s more than therapy!

As the New Year approaches and people start to talk about New Year’s Resolutions (and we work non-stop to get our expanded office space ready) I’ve been thinking a lot about Sadar Psychological and Sports – who we are, what we believe in, and how we can keep improving.

How do Psychology and Sports fit together???

People have regularly asked me why we chose to name the practice Sadar Psychological and Sports Center…The name was based on our philosophy that both mental and physical wellness are (more…)