Smartphone addiction has been compared to Internet, gambling, and shopping addiction. It is a compulsive behavior that works similarly to substance addiction in the brain.
While cell phone addiction is a fairly new concept and isn’t yet in the DSM-5, there are a few treatment suggestions for those suffering from this condition:
Make rules for yourself concerning your phone usage.
Set time periods in which you shouldn’t use your phone (i.e., 9 p.m. to 7 a.m.).
Designate activities in which your phone is forbidden (e.g., driving, dinner time).
Schedule break times to access your phone or social media.
Download an application to help cut down on cell phone use.
BreakFree and Menthal allow you to track the amount of time you’re spending on your phone and which applications.
ColdTurkey and SelfControl allow you to block the sites you wish to avoid.
Relaxation techniques such as mindfulness can help you to cope with your cravings to use your cell phone or access social media.
Smartphone Addiction Therapy
If these changes in habit don’t allow you to cut down on your cell phone use, then you could be suffering from a severe smartphone addiction and treatment is recommended. Treatment options include:
Individual therapy: The therapist works with you to address any underlying problems or co-occurring mental disorders that could be affecting cell phone use.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy aims to change your maladaptive thoughts, feelings, and behaviors into healthy and positive ones. This method has been proven effective in treating Internet addiction, which is very similar to cell phone addiction.1, 2
Motivational interviewing is centered around you, the client, helps to identify the difference between current state and desired state, and allows you to find motivation to make a positive behavioral change.3
Pharmacotherapy: Although there are no current FDA-approved medications to treat smartphone addiction, when combined with psychotherapy, medications such as antidepressants, antipsychotics, and psychostimulants can help to treat Internet addiction.4
Smartphone addiction doesn’t have to be fought alone. There are a number of treatment options available to you. It’s important that you do appropriate research in order to find out which recovery option best suits your needs.