Dr. Rich Patterson

Depression & Kids – II

Recently I went to my medical doctor, and he asked what I was doing now.  I told him that I talk with kids and families about topics that help them answer life questions.  He mentioned that his concern was the heavy use of technology by kids.  He said we don’t know what it may cause, but rest assured, something will come along.  I found that intriguing and looked into the topic.

What I found were many titles: Computer Use, Stress, and Depression Among Young Adults; Why using a computer can cause depression; Heavy Technology Use Linked to Fatigue, Stress, and Depression; Anxiety and depression linked to computer games, and Excessive internet use linked to depression; research shows to show just a few.  The links are live if you would like to click on them to read more from the various authors.

I saw myself spending too much time on the computer in a concise amount of time.  Oh, I had all kinds of reasons: writing articles, writing speeches, and putting together various topics for my website.  All that seemed like good reasons, but still too much time.  We get hooked and find ourselves drawn to multiple aspects of technology reading, keeping up with friends, playing games, and all of it can be good, but it adds up to too much time in front of a screen.

With kids and adults too, too much time reading about others can cause us to compare ourselves to others too much.  When we compare ourselves, we destroy the energy that makes us–well, us.  It causes us to feel like we need to imitate, can cause jealousy, and certainly involves a great day of misinformation.  By limiting our time each day to things we need to do and then stopping ourselves beyond that, we can begin to help kids get control of technology for themselves.

I started a policy of not checking my email until close to 12N each day unless I need to see if someone has canceled an appointment.  I have found that often, just doing that helps me not get side-tracked to other links, and then before you know it, you’ve spent 45 minutes doing something that has led to nothing.

I encourage you to help your kids get control of their usage by planning their time checking their phones, playing games, and being on the computer.  Summer is a great time to begin this because, for the most part, the kids are home, and you are there with them more often.  Sit down together and plan for adults and kids alike to use technology more sparingly.  You might ask, well, how else can we find that out?

By asking good questions such as this, you will discover our sources for information that serve just as well and maybe better; after all, they will likely involve a live person.

In case you missed it, Part I of this series is linked here for you, Kids & Depression – Dr. Rich Patterson (

Enjoy your family,