Are any of your clients social media addicts? Is inclusion in the DSM-IV next?

GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – Social media now seems to be part of everyday life.

“I belong to twitter and tumblr,” said one local teen. “I belong to Facebook, twitter, but I usually go on twitter more than Facebook,” another teen said.

But how much is too much? Social media addiction is a problem not often tweeted about.

“We’ve seen that people will actually have increased heart rates and they’ll have pleasure response from checking their accounts and seeing that they have a new message,” explained Brad Bordini, a psychotherapist with Bellin Behavioral Health in Green Bay.

Bordini has treated patients for addiction to social media and said the ripple effect could be devastating.

“People are starting to lose the ability to interact at times on a human basis,” he explained. “We’re seeing a significant rise in social anxiety with people. They’re becoming more shut in.”

According to a recent study from the University of Chicago, texting and checking Facebook and twitter ranks just behind sex and sleep on a list of urges that are almost impossible to resist, even more addictive than alcohol and tobacco.

“They become almost upset when they don’t receive immediate feedback when they post something new,” added Bordini.

Those Local 5 talked with said they log on to connect with friends, play games, or just to kill time.

“It’s a habit more or less,” said one girl. “I do it at night or in the morning when I wake up.” “I just do it because I’m bored usually,” another teen told us.

But when it starts to get in the way of your daily routine, Bordini said it may be time to unplug

“We need to focus on what is appropriate, what’s not appropriate and setting boundaries for the self,” he said. “As far as how we’re going to let ourselves indulge in these different forms of media.”

Social media sites are now more accessible than ever, with smart phone and tablet apps, which doctors think could be contributing to some addictions.

 

 
 
 
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