Saul Rosenthal, PhD

HEALTH PSYCHOLOGIST

Last week I shared five tips about helping out when you give your child a smartphone or tablet.

But what about you? All those Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and end-of-year prices are tempting. Maybe it’s time for you to get a new device. If you’re taking the opportunity to treat yourself, why not also take the opportunity to review and strengthen your usage habits? 

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December 14th, 2018

Posted In: Digital Citizenship, Internet Addiction, Psychology of Technology

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Gaming Disorder is a new diagnosis for the upcoming 11th edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). The ICD is the diagnostic “bible” published by the World Health Organization and used by health care providers around the world. While the exact criteria do not seem available, the WHO defines Gaming Disorder as:

a pattern of gaming behavior (“digital-gaming” or “video-gaming”) characterized by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming over other activities to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other interests and daily activities, and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences.

For diagnosis, the behavior must significantly interfere with functioning and exist for at least 12 months.

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September 16th, 2018

Posted In: Internet Addiction

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Impulsivity and Internet Addiction

A child sees a lollipop in a candy store and grabs it. A driver sees an opening in the next lane and cuts off another driver. A mom sees the latest must-have handbag at the park and within seconds she’s hitting BUY NOW on her phone. Impulsivity always follows the same sequence: I See It. I Want It. I Grab for It. We’ve all been impulsive at one time or another, usually without too many bad consequences. Unfortunately, if a person can’t control their impulsivity, they are likely to get into trouble.

As a specialist in the field of Internet Addiction, I see over and over that it’s this lack of impulse control that is the often-overlooked root cause behind all forms of Problematic Technology Overuse from online porn addiction to compulsive shopping.

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December 18th, 2015

Posted In: Internet Addiction

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Twelve or thirteen years ago, a 12-year-old boy and his parents came to my office complaining he was so anxious that he was unable to get out of bed and go to school. He also reported he couldn’t face his homework, found it difficult to concentrate, was not sleeping well and was increasingly irritable. Not long before he had been a good student, a voracious reader, emotionally stable and gave his parents few problems. In short, he had quickly gone from a ‘good’ kid to a ‘troubled’ one. Initially his parents thought the changes were related to puberty, but as his school performance plummeted and he started refusing to go, they realized something more significant was at play.

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December 4th, 2014

Posted In: Digital Citizenship, Internet Addiction

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