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Mental Health Concerns in the Digital Age


This article provides a comprehensive look at society’s use of technology including the Internet, smartphones, and other digital devices and it’s apparent effects on people’s mental health. Negative consequences from technology overuse impact an individual behaviorally, affectively, and cognitively. Advantageous counseling interventions and treatment options are discussed as methods to reduce effects of technology abuse and isolation from the real world and help clients find a balance in connectivity. The authors discuss signs of potential pathological technology use and concern for Internet addiction as well as the DSM-5’s proposed Internet Gaming Disorder. Detrimental impacts on adults, adolescents, and children from continual connectivity are explained. Consequences of attachment to technology include lowered social skills, self-motivation, emotional intelligence, and empathy and increased conflict with others, ADHD, and depression in younger populations. Mental health concerns increase with society’s reduced social interactions resulting from increased technological use and dependence on social media for communication.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to David A. Scott.

Ethics declarations

All Procedures Followed Were in Accordance with the Ethical Standards of the Responsible Committee on Human Experimentation (Institutional and National) and with the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as Revised in 2000 (5).

Conflict of Interest

David A. Scott declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Bart Valley declares that he has no conflict of interest.

Brooke A. Simecka declares that she has no conflict of interest.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all patients for being included in the study.

Human and Animal Rights

No animal or human studies were carried out by the authors for this article

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Scott, D.A., Valley, B. & Simecka, B.A. Mental Health Concerns in the Digital Age. Int J Ment Health Addiction 15, 604–613 (2017).

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  • Internet addiction
  • Mental health
  • Addiction
  • Counseling