Understanding ADHD Cell Phone Addiction
Last week we talked about how your phone is a key ADHD management tool. Yet cell phones and ADHD aren’t always a good mix. That’s why this week, we’re exploring ADHD and cell phone addiction.
Living easier with ADHD means facing reality. We must consider the good and the bad.
Like many of my private and ADHD Success Club clients, I’ve had my own problems putting down my phone. Scrolling way more than I like to admit. Almost driven to respond immediately to text messages or notifications.
Are Cell Phones Addicting?
If not a full on addiction, ADHD cell phone use can certainly be problematic. Doing anything too often isn’t healthy.
From my perch viewing lots of ADHD lives, I do see that our phones keep us from living the lives we want. Strategizing about boosting productivity often includes conversations about the challenges of avoiding cell phone and tablets.
● Mary wants to get enough sleep to be productive and focused. Yet, she stays up way too late pulled into YouTube videos.
● Steve wants to get to work on time. That’s not happening when he’s checking Facebook instead of getting ready for the day.
● Alan wants to spend time with his family after work. Except, binging on news feeds pulls his attention.
Yes, cell phone dependence is not just an ADHD thing. It’s a life with technology thing. But, we have to be realistic. Your ADHD brain is always on the search for jolts of dopamine. Mobile phones provide a huge dopamine boost.
How To Stop ADHD Phone Addiction
How do you break free from the magnetic pull of your phone?
Notice how your phone impacts your life. How does it help? How does it rob you from living the life you want to live? When does your phone get in the way of accomplishing your intentions?
Don’t blame or make excuses. This only works with honest awareness of your action and the consequences.
Make your cell phone boring. Remove as many shiny, tempting apps as you can. I took Facebook off my phone months ago and truly don’t miss it. I limit who and what I follow on Instagram. Shut off notifications.
Set up controls. Smartphone companies are realizing cell phone overuse is a problem. That’s why most phones come with apps to regulate phone usage. I have the Apple app Screen Time set up so all but my essential apps are hard to use after 8 PM. Yes, you need the self control not to work around the app, but at least you’ll be more aware of what you’re up to.
Technology can be an amazing ADHD support tool. Our lives are so much better because of that screen in our pocket. But, if your cell phone feels like an ADHD addiction take steps to break the habit.