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Whether you have a drug addiction, a behavioral addiction, or any other type of addiction, the reward for engaging in a specific behavior is what is going to keeps you going at it for quite some time. The reward system associated with smartphone use is the same dopamine response in the brain triggered by opiates and other chemical addictions, and one that you want to keep triggering. This is why breaking an addiction is a hard thing to do, especially with something as central to your daily life as using your smartphone.
This is not a big deal for some. You misplace your phone, so what? You’re able to find it again later when you need it. However, for some it might mean running around the home to every place you’ve been with an anxious and nervous dread about where it might be, or what you might be missing out on. The panic associated with not being able to get your fix is a key sign of addiction.
If you find yourself having to constantly look at your phone, reply to texts, or call people while driving, then your behavior is signaling an addictive compulsion. You need to be able to pay attention to the road and the urge to seek out your fix, even at the expense of your health, safety, and best interests, is a clear indicator that your behavior has gotten out of control. Not only is your addiction going to cause you harm, but you might end up hurting someone else in the process.
If your partner is feeling less than satisfied in a relationship, and they feel that your phone has replaced them in your attention and focus, then you might have a problem. Allowing relationships to deteriorate so you can chase the high is a major addiction signal. You need to know when to put the phone down and spend time with those you love. If this is becoming a problem for the both of you, it may be time to seek help or counseling.
Both of these symptoms are signs that you’re using your smartphone for too long. Headaches are common because your vision strains to look at the bright screen. Holding the screen for long periods of time can cramp your hands and fingers. Take a break and stretch out.
The sleeping routine that you’re on is not going as planned. You might have a hard time falling asleep, and an even harder time staying asleep. This can become a problem when you’re constantly tired throughout the day. Taking care of yourself, and recognizing that you have a problem, are the first steps to recovery from any addiction. Socializing with those around you is healthy and natural, but if you’re constantly buried in your smartphone, you’re going to have a hard time interacting or socializing with others.