Walk into any restaurant, coffee shop, or anywhere that people gather and you will likely see someone bent over a screen. For most people technology can be a distraction. For other people, technology can be an addiction. In particular, for many troubled teens, screen addiction interferes with their ability to live healthy lives.
Officially, there is no such thing as screen addiction. The DSM-V, which mental health experts use to diagnose illnesses, makes no mention of the condition. The closest diagnosis to screen addiction is Internet Gaming Disorder, which is listed is a Condition for Further Study.
Yet, for hundreds of parents across the world with personal experiences with teens who suffer from screen addiction, there is no doubt that screen addiction is real, or that it can destroy lives. Parents can help their teens by talking to teens about screen addiction and by setting a good example. When teens see parents using technology responsibly, then they are more likely to do the same. However, parents should not be afraid of seeking help if needed.
At RedCliff Ascent, teens give up their devices for the duration of their stay. Rather than losing themselves in a virtual world in games, or worrying about what people are saying about them on social media, they get an outdoor nature adventure that they will never forget. As they hike, bike, and explore the 22-acre course area, they will learn wilderness survival skills. They will also learn how to build healthy relationships.
The experience of being out in nature has a measurable, positive effect on mental health. This may be especially true for troubled teens. A recent study compared two groups of troubled teens with similar mental health conditions. One group participated in outdoor behavioral therapy. Another group received treatment within their communities. The group who participated in outdoor behavioral therapy made more significant improvements and sustained them for longer than the teens who received treatment in their communities.
There are many reasons that teens who participate in sustain their recovery longer than those who don’t. Students who participate in outdoor behavior therapy participate in many different healthy activities such as hiking or biking. Often, students return home with 100% technology-free healthy hobbies. The relationship building skills make interacting in the real world easier, so teens will not feel compelled to escape into cyberspace.
To learn more about how RedCliff Ascent can help your teen, please contact (801) 921-8488 or arrange for a representative of RedCliff Ascent to contact you.