Screen Free Week is Just around the Corner!

Screen Free Week is right around the corner: May 5-11, 2014. Although children will naturally engage in healthy play once liberated from screens, parents often panic in regards to "what will my child DO?!" Here's a list of activities to get those brainstorming juices flowing, along with some important reasons why going screen-free is worth the effort.

The Link Between Light-at-Night, Depression & Suicidality

With teen depression and suicide on the rise, environmental factors cannot be ignored. A growing body of evidence suggests light-at-night from electronic devices may be to blame.

Gray Matters: Too Much Screen Time Damages the Brain

Excessive screen time damages the brain's gray and white matter, alters cerebral cortex thickness, and impairs cognitive function according to recent brain scan research. But "everything's okay in moderation," right? The real question is, how is seven hours/day of screen-time moderate? Are kids with "regular" screen exposure damaging their brains too?
fotolia/Andrea Danti

Why Can My Inattentive Child Pay Attention to Video Games?!

Parents often wonder: if my child has attention problems, why is it that he can focus during a video game? But if we understand the basis of attention and attentional deficits, we'll see why this phenomenon is not so surprising.

An Overlooked Factor in the Childhood Obesity Epidemic

According to the American Heart Association, 1 in 3 children are overweight or obese. Why has childhood obesity has tripled in the last 30 years?

9 Resolutions that Invest in Your Mental Wealth

I know New Year's resolutions are supposed to be concrete with specific goals, but I'd like to present some holistic resolutions that have the potential to create shifts in everyday mentality.

Pediatricians Elaborate on Screen Guidelines

The American Academy of Pediatrics has reiterated its policy on screen-time guidelines for children and teens, and has provided some new recommendations to help families manage the logistics. How closely are you following them?

Japan's Prescribing Internet Fasting Camps—Should We?

Japan is implementing internet-fasting camps for youths with too much screen-time. Resources for tech addiction in the US are scarce. Can we bridge the gap?

Boost Your Child's Brain Power with This Simple Remedy

Do you want to send your child off to school with improved focus and organization? Here's how an electronic fast can help send your child to the head of the class.

Food, Inflammation, and Autism: Is There a Link?

Research suggests food sensitivity reactions might trigger autism pathology —as early as the womb.

Tips for Managing Screentime This Summer

When it comes to kids and screens, summer vacation can be a blessing or a curse. Here are some tips for digital natives who've "forgotten" how to play in the real world.

Nature's Rx: Green-Time's Effects on ADHD

While screen-time has disorganizing effects on the nervous system, green-time help integrate it. In fact, research suggests greenery improves cognition and impulse control.

Silver Linings of the New DSM Playbook

Like it or not, the new DSM-V arrived today. Much of the media coverage has addressed criticisms and concerns, but there has been little focus on how the changes of the DSM may benefit the bottom line--improvement of care. From a psychiatrist's perspective, here's a list of silver linings.

Resyncing the Body Clock to Treat ADHD

Good news for those who prefer natural treatment for ADHD: Research shows attention symptoms may be due to poor sleep and an out-of-sync body clock--factors that are reversible.

A Dangerous Game: GPs Prescribing Psychotropics

The majority of the time, patients approach their general practitioner first to seek help for mental health-related complaints. If it's a straightforward case with mild symptoms, this shouldn't pose a problem. However, if there's a serious mental illness about to break through or the patient has multiple diagnoses, this scenario becomes quite risky. Here's why.
Teens, Screens, and Metabolic Syndrome

Teens, Screens, and Metabolic Syndrome

We all know there's an obesity epidemic occuring with our nation's youths, but did you know that there's a constellation of health issues now being recognized in teens, that were previously not occuring until middle age? Sometimes called Syndrome X, metabolic syndrome is now being linked to screen-time in teens--regardless of physical activity level.
Screen-free Holiday Challenge

Screen-free Holiday Challenge

"Tis the season...for electronics?! Again?! As a child psychiatrist, I dread January, when instead of being rested from a couple weeks off of school, many of my patients come in revved up and spaced out.

Video Game Rage

Contrary to popular belief, video games don't need to be violent in order to trigger aggression. Here's a case study showing how gaming can push a child over the proverbial edge.

Screens and the Stress Response

It ain't pretty, but sometimes seeing all the ways research has linked screen time to physiological stress markers can help us manage our tech use—and our kids' use—better.

Game Over: Screening for Problematic Screen-time

Current screening questionnaires to illicit problematic video game and internet usage are helpful, but are they inclusive enough?

Case: OCD Precipitated by Wii Video Game

A couple of years ago, a former colleague contacted me to ask whether I thought playing Wii video games could precipitate OCD symptoms. Her six year old son, who'd just started playing Wii games regularly, had begun touching and rubbing things compulsively, and would become anxious if he tried to stop.

Electronic Screen Syndrome: An Unrecognized Disorder?

It's not just tech addiction and violent gaming that are triggering mental health issues in children, it's a shape-shifting entity called Electronic Screen Syndrome.

Computer, Video Games & Psychosis: Cause for Concern

In my practice in the past six months, no less than five youths have reported psychotic symptoms that were attributed to, or exacerbated by, electronic screen devices.

10 Tips to Make Homework Time Less Painful

Homework time doesn't have to be painful. Try these research-based tips to get homework done more quickly, efficiently, and comfortably.

Got Tics? Environmental Adjustments Can Help

“Tics wax and wane. It’s just the nature of the beast.” Or is it?

Brand vs. Generic: When It Matters (And What To Do When It Does)

Generics are supposed to be deemed bioequivalent, which means they should have the same amount of active ingredient as their brand counterparts as demonstrated on healthy volunteers. They do not test whether they actually work or not (i.e. efficacy/effectiveness).

Discovery of Video Game-Induced Seizures Transforms a Teen's Health: A Mother's Story

Jessica's daughter Alice experienced daily seizures triggered by video games, but suffered for years before she was properly diagnosed.

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