Phone addiction

I feel like I have so many questions in this forum. I feel bad asking for suggestions and just venting but here we go. I have been working on my sugar addiction- it’s been alittle over two months and it’s going so well. I am extremely grateful.
I also have phone addiction. Just the need to constantly be busy. It’s so bad some days I check my screen time and it’s over 11 hours. 11 HOURS! I seriously need to get a grip on myself because I need to be present for myself and my family. I feel dissociated as soon as I sit idly. I feel restless and start disconnecting... which is ironic because being on my phone does the same thing.
Anyone else experienced this? Please share anything that ever helped you or could help me. Thank you
 

Defaultxlove

MyPTSD Pro
Hey, welcome. And no need to feel bad about asking for help. That's why we ALL are here ☺️

I deal a lot with disconnection and used to dissociate pretty bad. I still do sometimes lately.

My T had me focus on mindfulness, and grounding. Have you explored either of these?
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
I feel bad asking for suggestions and just venting but here we go.

personally, i believe this is far more helpful than advice giving and pity peddling. sharing personal experience is one of the most effective therapy reinforcements i have ever found. it also helps to know i am not alone with my problems and concerns.

i'm a burned out old tech warhorse who has worked computers since the early 70's when people's eyes glazed over when i used words like, "internet." over the course of watching those same people morph into up-to-date tech experts, i have begun wondering if tech needs to be declared an official and devastating addiction. i've taken to calling tech, "e-crack." just wondering. . . as wonderful as it is to be living my dream of having the world's libraries at my fingertips, i find myself chilled to the bone to watch rooms full of people ignoring one another with their heads bowed over the cellu-light.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
I also have phone addiction. Just the need to constantly be busy.
Are you sure this is what it is? The need to be busy, I mean? I have the same issue--I HAVE to be always doing or I run into all sorts of issues. But I'm involved in a lot of things--I guess I would wonder why you are sitting idly for so long? Do you have any hobbies or interests that you can get involved in?
 

prynne

MyPTSD Pro
I've been trying to get a handle on the same issue recently. It's hard to resist the temptation to stimulate your brain so much that you won't have a single thought about It, whatever It happens to be. I've had to delete most of my social media completely because I was just unable to use it in moderation. Recently, I've had to put my phone away in a drawer (it helps the urges to get on when I can't see it) and just sit there with my boredom and then, eventually, with the strong emotions that I've been avoiding. Literally, I will just sit there staring into space for who knows how long, feel the shitty stuff, and then eventually I start to get the urge to do other things because I'm so bored or want a distraction so badly. It sucks at first, but after a few hours I always feel better and I'm glad I did it.

The screen time limits also help me, if your phone has that. I set a limit for how much I want to be on my phone daily. Not impossible to get around, but it helps with accountability and keeping track of how much time has passed
 
Are you sure this is what it is? The need to be busy, I mean? I have the same issue--I HAVE to be always doing or I run into all sorts of issues. But I'm involved in a lot of things--I guess I would wonder why you are sitting idly for so long? Do you have any hobbies or interests that you can get involved in?
Ah it’s so frustrating. So no matter what else I do I still use my phone simultaneously. When I am reading, writing, walking, sewing even while working out. I am embarrassed to say even when I am around my baby. It’s something that I have finally accepted as a big problem to tackle :( I need to get a grip on it

personally, i believe this is far more helpful than advice giving and pity peddling. sharing personal experience is one of the most effective therapy reinforcements i have ever found. it also helps to know i am not alone with my problems and concerns.

i'm a burned out old tech warhorse who has worked computers since the early 70's when people's eyes glazed over when i used words like, "internet." over the course of watching those same people morph into up-to-date tech experts, i have begun wondering if tech needs to be declared an official and devastating addiction. i've taken to calling tech, "e-crack." just wondering. . . as wonderful as it is to be living my dream of having the world's libraries at my fingertips, i find myself chilled to the bone to watch rooms full of people ignoring one another with their heads bowed over the cellu-light.
I appreciate this so much! Thank you.
I am 100% with you. I love the fact that I can search anything I am curious about. I get this strange feeling when I look up and see everyone on their phones- makes me dissociate just watching everyone but then I go back and do the same thing fully aware of it as I am doing it. E-crack? Yes!
 

arfie

MyPTSD Pro
i am often grateful that computers didn't fit in my pocket when i was developing my tech habits. in addition to being inconveniently sized, they were multi-million dollar play toys that few bosses allowed playful access to.
 

Wendell_R

MyPTSD Pro
I've struggled with this for many years. Here are some things that help me:
  • What I am doing very recently is that I keep the phone in my car. It's good for me to be sure to get out of the house or job every two hours for a little break/walk, so I check the phone at the same time to see if anybody needs a response
  • My therapist has a client who uses a phone safe to lock it up at night. I don't have nighttime urges, so I haven't done that myself. My therapist reports that the client experienced great relief on using the safe.
  • I have a very limited number of apps on my phone.
  • I use the screentime control on my iPhone, and my spouse has the password. The app store is blocked, so I don't add anymore apps, and every morning I send her a screenshot of my activity from the previous day. My goal is less than 1 hour per day, not counting phone calls, messaging, and maps (which are all good things for me & unlimited)
  • Most mornings, I begin the day with 30 minutes without screens of any kind.
You already know what the challenge is once you do all these things--learning new habits that connect you with the world. Hobbies are useful, reading an actual magazine or newspaper or book, taking walks, grounding exercises, being with our dog.

Good luck! I know how hard it can be. Covid was a hard challenge. Another hard challenge is the social expectation that we will do so many things on our phone and be available.
 

whiteraven

MyPTSD Pro
So no matter what else I do I still use my phone simultaneously.
Hm...have you tried just turning it off? Or leaving it in a drawer (turned off)? When I go for a walk, I deliberately leave it at home. I have it with me almost all the time, but my screen time is between1 and 2 hours.

What sort of things have you tried so far, and are you seeking help in therapy with this?

i find myself chilled to the bone to watch rooms full of people ignoring one another with their heads bowed over the cellu-light.
Yeah...it's SUPER rude.
 
I've struggled with this for many years. Here are some things that help me:
  • What I am doing very recently is that I keep the phone in my car. It's good for me to be sure to get out of the house or job every two hours for a little break/walk, so I check the phone at the same time to see if anybody needs a response
  • My therapist has a client who uses a phone safe to lock it up at night. I don't have nighttime urges, so I haven't done that myself. My therapist reports that the client experienced great relief on using the safe.
  • I have a very limited number of apps on my phone.
  • I use the screentime control on my iPhone, and my spouse has the password. The app store is blocked, so I don't add anymore apps, and every morning I send her a screenshot of my activity from the previous day. My goal is less than 1 hour per day, not counting phone calls, messaging, and maps (which are all good things for me & unlimited)
  • Most mornings, I begin the day with 30 minutes without screens of any kind.
You already know what the challenge is once you do all these things--learning new habits that connect you with the world. Hobbies are useful, reading an actual magazine or newspaper or book, taking walks, grounding exercises, being with our dog.

Good luck! I know how hard it can be. Covid was a hard challenge. Another hard challenge is the social expectation that we will do so many things on our phone and be available.
Wow I am so grateful for this. Thank you for sharing all the tips. I also thank you for making me feel like I’m not alone. 🙏 I will share my progress
 

StillPen

MyPTSD Pro
@WhereIsMyTribe, you are SO not alone on this. For now, I wholly depend on my phone as respite from my PTSD symptoms. Painfully aware of my addiction...totally ok (for now) that it is full on.

So, I have no suggestions for you other than what has already been stated.

I wish you much luck in whatever you try, because that alone takes courage.

Also wanted post to keep up with the thread to see other's suggestions so when the day comes that I too am ready to kick the 'e-crack' habit, I'll have some useful tools at my fingertips.
 
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