Phone overuse can lead to 3 serious mental illness. Read on to discover if you’re at risk before it’s too late.

In today’s society it seems almost like it is second nature to have some type of cellphone or smartphone in front of you all of the time.

There are many people who can conduct their entire day of work and all of their socializing without ever putting their phone down, using it for everything that comes along.

As smartphones become more and more prevalent in the world today scientists and studies have taken much more of an interest in the notion of their being smartphone addiction and what type of an effect this can actually have on a person.

All it takes is a little bit of analysis and research and you can find notions pretty easily about how using a smartphone all of the time can actually have some type of adverse effect on you.

Here are 15 facts about the brain of a phone addict and some of the things that can happen to you as a result of being addicted to your smartphone.


1. Phone addicts run a higher risk for developing depression

depression phone addict

People are always on the lookout for ways that can lead to the path of depression.

Many doctors and psychologists have developed a variety of theories and studies that showcase different reasons that can bring about depression in many individuals and one of the things they are looking closely at today is people who are suffering from some type of phone addiction.

While phone addiction is not in itself classified as an actual disorder at this time, many who are studying the idea have come across those who find the compulsion to use their smartphones and cellphones all day long for everything are more susceptible to having bouts of depression in their lives.

Scientists are not clear as to the exact reasoning behind this just yet, but many feel there may be a correlation between the overuse of a phone as a means of staying in touch with the world leading to feelings of isolation and loneliness, which can bring about a state of depression.

2. Those with a phone addiction are more likely to suffer from some type of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

ocd phone addict

There does seem to be a correlation between those that use their smartphone excessively and for nearly every aspect of their life and those that may suffer from a form of OCD.

Very often those with OCD need to have things highly organized in a certain way and things must be tightly regimented to run at certain times.

Smartphones feed into this notion by providing you with the precision that you may need in life by giving you ways for regular notifications and alarms to help keep things running smoothly the way you may need them to run.

This can lead to a compulsive behavior pattern where people may feel the need to use the smartphone for everything because it is correct and organized all of the time, never steering them in the wrong direction.

3. Phone Addicts may suffer from a lack of social skills

lack social skills

This fact has long been the fear of many in society, especially when it comes to younger people using smartphones on a regular basis.

They are growing up only knowing how to communicate with others via email, text message and video chat and have not learned the proper way to hold a conversation with someone.

For people that only use their smartphones for all of these details and communications, they will not be able to act properly in many social situations because they have not developed the skills needed for proper interaction.

4. The brains of phone addicts show some similarities to that of drug addicts

brain phone addict

While there is still a great deal of study being done on this particular aspect, there have been some studies that areas of the brain that are typically highlighted and stimulated during drug use are also being stimulated during overuse of the smartphone.

People are receiving the same stimulation of their pleasure centers of the brain as they would with other types of addictions and find that their mind and body begin to physically crave the use of a device much in the way a drug addict would crave a particular substance.

5. Too much phone use can cause the failure to release melatonin

release melatonin

You have probably heard of melatonin as a natural substance you can take to help you get to sleep.

Melatonin is actually something released into your system by your brain that is designed to help your body reach a state of relaxation.

There have been studies that are able to link the overuse of smartphones and cellphones to a delayed release or a lack of release of melatonin into your body.

This happens particularly with those that insist on using their phones for hours while in bed or right before they try to go to sleep.

The use of the phone and the light emitted from the phone confuses your body into thinking that it is not time for sleeping yet and does not release the melatonin or not enough of it to help you fall asleep properly, which can lead you directly into number 6 on this list.

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6. Phone addicts suffer more from a lack of sleep and insomnia

insomnia lack sleep

A lot of this can go back to the explanation in reason number 5 where melatonin is not being produced and released properly in your body when you are using the phone too much.

Others have found, however, that using the phone constantly, especially right before bed or while you are in bed, contributes to you not getting the proper amount of sleep or suffering from insomnia where you cannot sleep at all.

This can be attributed to your brain being overstimulated by what you were doing on your phone, whether it was texting, looking at social media, playing games, listening to music or any of a dozen other things you could do.

Your brain and body have concentrated so much on these activities that they are too wound up to let your body relax and sleep.

7. Phone addicts have a harder time distinguishing needs versus wants

need check phone

This particular notion does harken back to classifying this as an addiction and this type of attitude is often seen among those that have addiction problems with alcohol, drugs, gambling, sex or any other type of addiction.

Those that may be considered to be a phone addict can no longer see the difference between needing to use their smartphone for certain tasks and wanting to use their smartphone and can create scenarios for them to justify the overall use of the phone anytime that they want to use it, thinking that it is an absolute need.

8. Phone addicts do show a shrinking of brain matter

surface level brain

This study was done on a small sample of people who averaged a high amount of smartphone use for the study, but there was an indication that surface level of the brain matter in a portion of those in the study did show some shrinking and decrease over those who used their smartphones infrequently or only when needed.

This study could indicate that overuse of a smartphone could have the adverse effect on your brain matter just as other addictions can have.

9. Phone addicts display a poorer work/school performance

poor work performance

For those that may have a phone addiction, there is a correlation between overall work and school performance, and excessive hours spent using a smartphone.

The phone use can get in the way of performing tasks during work or school, causing distraction and making it harder for people to concentrate.

This can lead to overall poorer performance in daily tasks at work or at school.

10. Phone addicts tend to have reduced inhibitions

reduced inhibitions

A reduced level of inhibition is common among all types of addictions and it has shown to be true among those who are addicted to using their smartphones.

The users spend so much time wrapped up in the worlds that exist on their phones, whether it is playing games, checking email, looking at websites, texting or other tasks, that they lose touch with what should be appropriate behavior, getting the same feeling almost as a “high” that people might get from using drugs and possibly putting themselves into riskier situations than they might normally try.

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11. Phone addicts display a diminished goal orientation

less goal oriented

Because someone is addicted to the use of their phone, they have less of a concern about what is going on in the world around them and are more likely to let go of goals that now seem unimportant to them.

This can be very basic from doing certain household chores to higher goals such as studying and doing well on particular tests, preparing for a job interview or performing certain tasks at work.

The person is less driven to reach these goals because they would rather spend their time using their phone.

12. Phone addicts may suffer from greater memory loss

memory loss

There is a great deal linked to addiction and memory loss and a phone addiction can be no different.

Constant and overuse of the phone for whatever reason can be taxing on the brain even if it does not feel that way at the time it is being used.

Those who engage in overuse may have trouble with their short-term and long-term memory, having a failure to recall certain things that they have done or are supposed to do because the phone has become the dominant point in their life.

13. Phone addicts find it harder to retrieve information

retrieve information

A lot of this fact goes back to the effects that a phone addiction can have on the brain and on memory loss.

Too much use of the phone can lead a person to have a harder time recalling any type of information.

This can be particular true when they are so accustomed to using their phone for everything that they do in life.

When the phone is not available for use they may have a harder time making decisions, discovering facts and retrieving information that they might normally know.

14. Phone addicts develop higher tolerance levels for phone use, require a greater need

using phone more

As is the case with a number of addictions, a certain level of tolerance can begin to build anytime that you overuse anything.

It then requires more and more use to help you achieve the same feelings of relief and satisfaction for your body.

This is true of phone addicts, who will require longer and longer periods of using their phone regularly and more often in order to feel at peace with what they are doing and be satisfied with their lives.

15. A phone addict’s brain becomes trained to feel good through phone use

training brain

As an addict, the person that is overusing and abusing their phone use will become so reliant on using their phone regularly that the use will feel better and better to them all of the time.

Their brain will become used to the good feelings it receives when the phone is being used and want to replicate that feeling more and more all of the time, leading to perhaps an even greater addiction and more use.

Like any type of addiction, there is going to be some type of impact that occurs on the brain of the person that is considered to be a phone addict.

The more the device gets used for hours and hours each day the more the brain and body are going to come to rely on and crave the use, causing the person to try to find more and more time to use the phone each day.

This will naturally come to interfere with the daily lifestyle that the person would normally lead as they become wrapped up in just using their phone.

There are more studies going on all the time as smartphones are still relatively new to the world so there is nothing definitive as of yet but there does seem to be a real distinction among the brain of a phone addict when compared to others.