ADHD Online Adds Social Media Addiction Assessment to Its Online Diagnostic Platform

As Surgeon General advisory reports teens' use skyrocketing and hurting their development, leader in online mental health diagnosis broadens its efforts.

About 95% of American teens report using a social media platform, with more than a third saying they use it "almost constantly." Studies show social media use may affect young people's brain development and make them less happy as teenagers—prompting the U.S. Surgeon General in May to issue a public health advisory on social media use. Mentavi Health has added a validated assessment tool for measuring problematic social media use to its standard ADHD Online assessment process. 

Mentavi Health is the parent company of ADHD Online, the industry leader in virtual ADHD assessment and patient care plans. ADHD Online offers HIPAA-secured ADHD assessments online with certified results from licensed psychologists in all 50 states. 

The Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale (BSMAS), a six-item questionnaire, is a validated assessment tool used in large- and small-scale medical studies. Mentavi Health added the BSMAS at the recommendation of new Chief Medical Officer Dr. Barry K. Herman to help patients and others raise their awareness of their habits related to social media.

Herman said the Surgeon General's Advisory was a wake-up call, informing people that they need to pay more attention to the detrimental effects of social media.

"The Surgeon General's report underscored that urgent action is needed to understand and minimize harm, creating safer online environments for young people. Our team embraced this need and has fully integrated the Bergen Social Media Addiction Scale into our standard ADHD Online assessment process," Herman said.

"Although social media addiction does not yet have a formal diagnosis in the industry, our ADHD assessment will now also provide pertinent information on patient tendencies and risks in these areas, in keeping with our philosophy of providing optimal self-awareness," he said.

The Surgeon General's report notes that harmful effects of social media addiction include increased anxiety, depression, poor concentration, impaired academic and work performance, and decreased overall satisfaction with life. "This is a growing concern among people of all ages, in an area where many have little insight into their behaviors and where consequences can be significant," Herman said.  

Among the findings in the report, which draws on more than 100 studies from pediatricians, psychologists and other experts: 

Children and young adults spend an average of three hours per day on social media platforms.

Social media is designed to be addictive, with features like endless scrolling and notifications that grab attention. 

The appeal of social media is linked to innate social instincts and the release of dopamine in the brain, which can lead to habit formation and addiction.

Harmful effects of social media addiction include increased anxiety and depression, disrupted sleep, inability to concentrate, poor academic and work performance, and less overall satisfaction with life

Risk factors for social media addiction include poor emotion regulation, low self-esteem, and limited coping skills.

In addition to preventive measures like digital detoxes and reducing social media usage, treatment for social media addiction may involve various approaches, such as therapy, counseling, support groups, and addressing underlying mental health issues. 

Mentavi Health believes ADHD Online's ability to assess people's problematic social media use can be a valuable addition to its mission of making better mental and emotional health available to all, regardless of location or physical access to healthcare professionals. 

"We hope that with the addition of the BSMAS, we will be able to help even more people develop a better understanding of their overall mental health and to assist our licensed professionals to diagnose, care and connect people with the treatment they need and deserve," said Herman.

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About ADHD Online  

ADHD Online was founded in 2018 with the mission that everyone should have access to quality ADHD assessments regardless of who and where they are. The ADHD Online team is filled with industry experts across the United States who all share the same passion for ADHD and making sure patients have access to critical mental health services. ADHD Online is leading the way with being a critical voice for those who might be struggling with ADHD and is the only organization to offer HIPAA-secured ADHD assessments online with certified results from licensed psychologists. ADHD Online is active in all 50 states. 

Contact Information:
Mike Albanese
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