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Is Your Teenager a Texting Addict?

By HERWriter
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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

According to a new study, teenagers are becoming addicted to texting. In fact, experts are saying being hooked on texting is similar to being addicted to drugs. Neuroimaging studies show the same brain areas are stimulated with both texting and using heroin.

Statistics show 80 percent of all 15 to 18-year-olds own a cell phone. And the rate of texting has sky rocketed 600 percent in three years. The average teen sends 3,000 texts a month or one every 10 minutes or so. According to a recent study, 72 percent of cell phone owners send text messages.

Also, teenage girls lead the charge in texting.

Texting has become so bad for some people it's an unhealthy obsession. Too much texting has become what some doctors are calling an addiction.

"Anything that you can become obsessed with, and you do so much, that you don't do the things you need to do with family, friends, school, job, that can be an addiction. And texting absolutely can qualify," said Dr. Dale Archer, a clinical psychologist.

And because of excessive texting a number of problems may occur, including lack of eating, isolation and sleep deprivation.

Other texting addiction warning signs include losing track of time because of excessive texting, having a constant need for more, and suffering negative repercussions, like ignoring others or lying because of texting.

Chronic text-ers actually say they feel bad when they don't get a text. All the more reason some may text even more people.

In a very primitive part of the brain, the dopamine system gets triggered. That's the general reward system in our brain.

But the problem isn't limited to teens. A Google search revealed thousands of hits related to adults who have run into trouble while texting.

A Chicago cop is suing the city for two years of overtime pay for time spent on his Blackberry after work. A woman in Staten Island, New York, fell down an open manhole while texting and walking. Also, one woman used her iPhone until the tendons connecting her thumb to her palm became so inflamed that she needed surgery and stitches to correct the problem.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.