My teenage son is withdrawing from real life and spends all his time online. Should I be worried?

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Jane M, NYC
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The teenage years can be a rollercoaster of emotions, and while some behavioral changes are completely normal, it’s important to recognize when your teen is isolating and experiencing changes in behavior or mood.

Here are some warning signs to look out for:

  • They consistently have trouble spending time without access to technology. They may complain that they are unhappy or bored when they cannot access their gaming devices.
  • Online activity disrupts sleep, performance at school, and interpersonal relationships.
  • Changes in mood and emotions such as irritability, feelings of emptiness, sudden outbursts of anger, emotional numbness, or a lack of motivation.
  • Withdrawal from social interactions or isolation from friends and family.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in previously enjoyed activities


For more info check out Digital Parenthood's Youth Mental Health resources.

If you notice any of these signs in your teenager, it’s important to seek support from a mental health professional.

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