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The Link Between Cell Phone Addiction and Mental Disorders

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Cell Phones are used by most people in 2019. With the rise of cell phones, social media has become more and more influential towards us. Over the decade, cell phones have evolved to have positive and negative consequences on human health. Many mental health problems have arisen, such as depression and anxiety. Sleep has reduced due to the use of cellphones. Symptoms of already present disorders may enhance with cell phones. An example of this could be with ADHD, where the more someone uses social media, then the more symptoms occur. With the growth of cell phone use, the damage that has been done to us physiologically is growing.

Mental disorders are being affected negatively by cell phone use. A mental disorder is something that affects the way one thinks, behaves, and their mood. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, and ADHD are all considered mental disorders. ADHD is a mental disorder that tends to affect the attention span, including symptoms of; hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and having a hard time focusing. Cell phones tend to affect people heavily, like an addiction. People with ADHD are more likely to become addicted to something. Caroline Davis, a York University kinesiology graduate states “Both ADHD and addictions have also been associated with personality traits such as impulsivity, reward seeking, anxiousness, and negative affect…”. Davis shows the comparison between ADHD and addictions, which both have similar symptoms. The use of digital apps on phones increase these symptoms in someone with ADHD greatly. In an experiment recorded by Charles P. Vega states that “On average, ADHD symptoms emerged during follow-up in 9.5% of the students who reported engaging in 7 high-frequency digital media activities and 10.5% of those who reported engaging in all 14 high-frequency digital media activities compared with only 4.6% of students who reported not engaging in any of the digital media activities”. This experiment shows that 9.5% of the students were affected, although 4.6% did not engage in any digital activities. Cell phones have overall caused addictive-like symptoms for us people.

Depression has grown considerably since the rise in cell phone use. Social media, from Six Degrees (the first of social media) to Snapchat and Instagram, has evolved into influential platforms used by numberless people. 45% of the population (according to hootsuite paragraph 4) uses social media. The use of social media is causing more people to show symptoms of depression. Young girls are more susceptible to be affected by social media than boys. Teens are in a vulnerable state of mind as it is, and with social media negative feelings are heightened. Social activities are focused heavily on social media now, in-person social contact is becoming less common. People now do not focus on enjoying things in the present, instead they are thinking about how they should post about it. Since most social contact is focused on social media, most people will spend their time on their phones talking to each other. An investigation recorded by Florida Behavioral Health Center states “When social media and depression are compared, it was determined that those who used social media the most were about 2.7 times more likely to be depressed than participants who used social media the least.” This quote provides information on how social media raises the risk of depression. Eating Disorders have become prevalent due to social media use. Social Media is used to post and communicate what is going on in the world as of then. With the rise of people using it, exciting things posted by others are seen all the time. Although it was not meant to happen, this causes people to make themselves feel less of themselves. Since everyone wants to feel important, this affects how we feel. This feeling continues to grow, resulting in one either not doing anything or changing themselves to fit the “standards” of social media. According to AJ Dellinger, a writer, editor, and reporter states “That feeling can also lead to a vicious cycle; spending more time on social media makes you feel bad about yourself, and feeling bad about yourself makes you spend more time on social media.” AJ describes the repetition in using social media. This shows signs of cell phone addiction and symptoms of another disorder, ADHD, which has been mentioned. Cell phones have increased signs of depression with more and more use.

Anxiety rates have raised greatly through the influence of cell phones. Anxiety is a mental disorder that causes symptoms of excessive nervousness, paranoia, and apprehension. With cell phones, we are connected with everyone at all times. This can be beneficial, but can also be damaging. We can contact our family and friends from anywhere in the world. This also means that people who you do not get along with can also contact you. This can install fear into someone. Feelings of nervousness would be constant, therefore causing anxiety. Teens are getting anxiety from being away from social media. When not on social media, they could be worrying about if someone is talking to them or something important is happening. An article by Sarah Fader, she elaborated that “According to the experts, almost 20% of people with social media accounts cannot go more than three hours without checking them.” (Fader paragraph 2). Being away from social media for an extended amount of time can cause anxiety. Social media shows the better side of people without the bad. With this, people can be inclined to feel worse about themselves.

Cell phones are not entirely negative, they can show positive effects on us physcologically. Cell phones help increase brain activity. Glucose is produced in the brain to help us do activities. Glucose improved cognition so we are not confused all the time. A study by Dr. Nora Volkow shows that “The scans showed a small increase in the brain’s use of glucose (blood sugar) when the phone was on…” (Skerrett paragraph 2). This study shows that while using your phone, you brain is increasing its alertness. With social media, you can be connected with people you enjoy being with. Connecting with others gives humans the sense of belonging and purpose. With the burst of positive emotions, social media can actually have the opposite effects of depression. According to Keith Hampton, “He found that active internet and social media users are 63% less likely to experience serious psychological distress, associated with depression or other mood and anxiety disorders.” Social Media, used by “active users” (people who post or comment) shows positive effects, proving that depression isn’t caused entirely from social media. Cell phones, mostly social media, can show positive effects, such as increased brain activity and positive emotions.

Cell Phones have caused irreversible effects to human psychologically. The negative effects for the most part consist of mental disorders. Depression and anxiety are the most amplified disorders affected. Insecurities are brought to light every day, which is increasing negative feelings towards themselves. Other types of mental disorders, such as ADHD, which cannot be developed, are being worsened with cell phone use. Symptoms intensify since there isn’t any control on cell phones. Although there are many negative effects, cell phones have improved the mental health of some. Positive emotions and increased brain activity are a result from positive cell phone use. Cell phones have had many negative and positive effects on human health due to poor influences and the connection between social and online relationships.

Works Cited

  1. Adams, Sue K, et al. “Adolescent Sleep and Cellular Phone Use: Recent Trends and Implications for Research.” Health Services Insights, Libertas Academica, 3 Oct. 2013,
  2. Author Alyssa Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction. “Are Social Media and Depression Linked: Florida Behavioral Health Center.” Behavioral Health Of The Palm Beaches, 19 July 2019,
  3. Brooks, Megan, and Charles P. Vega. “Teen ADHD Associated With High Social Media Use.” Medscape, Medscape, 16 Aug. 2018,
  4. Davis, Caroline, et al. “Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder in Relation to Addictive Behaviors: a Moderated-Mediation Analysis of Personality-Risk Factors and Sex.” Frontiers in Psychiatry, Frontiers Media S.A., 20 Apr. 2015,
  5. Dellinger, AJ. “A New Study of over 3,000 Teens Found a Link between Time Spent Online and Symptoms of Depression.” Mic, 15 July 2019,
  6. Fader, Sarah, et al. “Social Media Obsession and Anxiety.” Anxiety and Depression Association of America, ADAA, Nov. 2018,
  7. Felman, Adam. “Anxiety: Overview, Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments.” Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 26 Oct. 2018,
  8. “Media & Eating Disorders.” National Eating Disorders Association, 22 Feb. 2018,
  9. Neighmond, Patti. “A Rise In Depression Among Teens And Young Adults Could Be Linked To Social Media Use.” NPR, NPR, 14 Mar. 2019,
  10. Newberry, Christina. “130+ Social Media Statistics That Matter to Marketers in 2019.” Hootsuite Social Media Management, Hootsuite, 13 Mar. 2019,
  11. Rao, Srinivas. “How Our Use of Social Media Fuels Envy, Comparison, Anxiety, and Depression.” Medium,, 22 Oct. 2018,
  12. Skerrett, Patrick J. “Cell Phone Use Stimulates Brain Activity.” Harvard Health Blog, Harvard Health Publishing, 24 June 2016,
  13. Walker, Tracey. “The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health.” Managed Healthcare Executive, MH Life Sciences, 12 July 2019, 

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