What is the Relationship Between Technology and Mental Health?

Technology is beneficial but can also negatively affect you. Learn more here about technology and mental health and how to get help for tech overuse.

Black Horse Health and Our Mental Health Treatment Is Here For You

At Black Horse Health, we know just how much social media and technology can affect our overall well-being, including our mental health.

Our team of skilled and compassionate specialists have over 100 years of combined experience, and we are committed to helping you or your loved one get the mental health treatment you need, especially if symptoms have been created or exacerbated by technology.

With comprehensive wellness services including anxiety and depression treatment, process addiction treatment, and yoga and meditation, we will create a treatment plan that best meets your unique set of symptoms.

Next Steps Toward a More Present, Fulfilling Life

Learn more about our technology and mental health services, other treatment opportunities, and how our Black Horse Health team of specialists can help you heal in this comprehensive article.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to our team for more information or to begin your path to wellness today.

technology and mental health

Introduction to Technology and Mental Health

While technology has revolutionized communication and provided a myriad of entertainment options, technology has also spawned a growing debate about its effects on our mental health. Technology and mental health are inextricably linked.

The intersection of technology and mental health is a landscape filled with both boons and pitfalls. It is a double-edged sword that can both alleviate and exacerbate psychological issues.

The Positive and Negative Effects of Technology on Mental Health

Technology offers unprecedented access to mental health resources for many people. This can include teletherapy sessions, mindfulness apps, and online educational resources. This provides numerous benefits for the mental well-being of individuals all over the world.

On the other hand, the rise of social media has also been linked to increased rates of anxiety, depression, and loneliness among its most frequent users, particularly among young people.

Navigating this complex relationship requires a nuanced understanding of how technology influences human behavior, social interaction, and mental well-being.

Technology and Mental Health Effects on Overall Health

The digital age has given rise to a complicated array of mental health implications. The effects are especially prevalent in areas like anxiety, social comparison, and self-esteem.


The “always-on” nature of modern technology means that everyone is constantly plugged into a stream of updates, news, and messages. This constant connectivity can be overwhelming, causing heightened stress and anxiety.

For instance, the fear of missing out (FOMO) is a psychological phenomenon directly linked to social media, as people worry about being left out of activities or conversations. The constant influx of notifications creates a sense of urgency that can cause stress and affect sleep patterns.1


Social media platforms often highlight reels of people’s lives. It shows carefully curated images and stories that depict success, beauty, and happiness. However, what is less visible are the struggles, failures, and mundane aspects of everyday life.

This skewed representation can create unrealistic standards that individuals then negatively compare themselves to. This form of social comparison can exacerbate feelings of inadequacy and contribute to depression.

Research has shown that comparing oneself to others on social media is associated with higher levels of body dissatisfaction, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and depressive symptoms.2


Self-worth has become increasingly tied to online validation in the form of likes and comments. Young people, who are particularly vulnerable to peer approval, may find their self-esteem fluctuating with the ebb and flow of online reactions. This kind of external validation can lead to a fragile sense of self.

However, it is important to note that technology and social media are tools. Like any tools, they can be used constructively or destructively. The key lies in mindful consumption and understanding the nuanced ways these platforms affect individual and collective mental health.

Awareness, education, and actionable strategies like digital detoxes can serve as buffers against the adverse effects of constant connectivity and social media engagement.

Technology and Mental Health Support

Striking a balance between utilizing technology for mental health support and avoiding overreliance on digital solutions can be difficult. Overcoming technology overuse is a multifaceted challenge.

Here are some strategies to consider:


Stay attuned to your feelings and behaviors while using technology. If you find that your use of digital tools for mental health is becoming compulsive rather than helpful, or that you are using technology to avoid real-life responsibilities and relationships, it may be time to reassess.

Identify Risk Factors

Understand what prompts you to use technology excessively. Is it boredom, loneliness, stress, or the need for social validation? Depending on your answer, you may need to seek mental health help for how technology is affecting you.

Monitor Overall Usage

Use built-in features on your smartphone or specialized apps to track how much time you spend on various activities. This will give you a clearer picture of your habits and where you can start reducing your usage.

Set Achievable Goals

Establish clear, achievable objectives for reducing screen time or specific app usage. Make sure these goals are realistic and aligned with your lifestyle. If you find that you need added help with setting goals, reach out to a mental health treatment center.

Types of Treatment for Technology and Mental Health Symptoms

Apps and online resources are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. While many digital tools can aid mental well-being, they should be viewed as supplements to traditional forms of therapy and medication, not replacements.

Some common types of professional treatment that you can utilize for issues with technology and mental health include:


Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and other forms of counseling can provide valuable insights into your technology use patterns and offer strategies to change them. CBT has been proven to produce promising success rates for those with internet addiction or dependence.3

There are various other treatment programs provided for those struggling with symptoms of internet dependence, such as motivational interviewing and group therapy.

Digital Detox Programs

These programs are specialized retreats designed to help individuals break free from the cycle of digital dependency. These often take place in nature, far away from any sort of access to technology.

Primary Care Doctors

In extreme cases, technology overuse can be similar to addiction and may require medical intervention. This may include doctors prescribing medications to treat underlying issues like anxiety or depression.

Social Support Options for Technology and Mental Health Struggles

Digital solutions can never fully replace the benefits of in-person interactions. Make sure you’re balancing your online social activities with face-to-face socialization. Human connection plays a vital role in mental health, and finding social support is imperative for healing.

Some options include:

Accountability Partner

Having someone to keep you accountable can be very effective. Share your goals and progress with a trusted friend or family member. They can help keep you on track with your treatment goals and give you support during difficult times.

Family and Friends

Engage in more face-to-face interactions if possible. Social support is crucial when trying to change any behavior, including technology overuse. If social interaction seems difficult, you can start with something as simple as speaking to a barista at a coffee shop.

Online Support Groups

Ironically, technology itself can provide platforms where you can find communities of people who are also trying to reduce their screen time. However, use this option cautiously to avoid replacing one form of technology overuse with another.

Educational Resources for Technology and Mental Health Support

Educational resources, such as books, research articles, and workshops, can serve as invaluable tools for understanding the complex relationship between technology and mental health.

They can provide evidence-based insights into:

  • How technology affects well-being
  • Practical strategies that can help mitigate negative symptoms or impacts of technology
  • How to effectively use digital tools for mental health support

These resources can equip individuals, educators, and healthcare professionals with the knowledge and skills to navigate the digital landscape in a way that enhances rather than detracts from mental well-being. This encourages the development of a more informed and balanced approach to technology use.

Books and Articles

Numerous books, articles, and peer-reviewed journals can offer deeper insights into the psychology of technology overuse and provide practical tips for addressing it.

Workshops and Panels

These can provide structured learning and skills development to help manage technology use effectively.

Addressing technology overuse is rarely a quick fix but rather a process that involves both behavioral and lifestyle changes. As our lives continue to become increasingly digital, learning to manage our relationship with technology is essential for overall well-being.

The Overuse of Technology and How It Can Lead to Technology Addiction

The overuse of technology and digital devices has raised serious concerns about technology addiction and its impact on mental well-being.

One of the most prominent issues is how constant connectivity and instant gratification can disrupt normal reward pathways in the brain. Similar to how substances like drugs and alcohol can be addictive, the immediate rewards from digital interactions can lead to habitual or compulsive use.

Over time, this can result in a reduced capacity to find satisfaction in non-digital, real-world activities. This can potentially cause impairments in social functioning, academic performance, and occupational responsibilities.

What Else to Know About Technology and Mental Health

Additionally, technology dependence can contribute to a range of mental health issues such as increased levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. The constant notifications and the “always-on” culture can lead to heightened stress levels, as people feel the pressure to respond immediately to messages.

Social comparison can also contribute to feelings of inadequacy and depression. Moreover, excessive screen time can interfere with sleep quality and physical activity, both of which are crucial for mental well-being.

As tech addiction becomes more prevalent, understanding its complex relationship with mental health is becoming increasingly critical for both prevention and treatment strategies.

Why Seek Help for Technology and Mental Health Struggles?

Seeking treatment for technology overuse is important because excessive screen time and dependency on digital devices can have significant, often insidious, negative impacts on various aspects of life.

As a refresher, these impacts include:4
  • Physical health
  • Emotional well-being
  • Social relationships
  • Academic performance
  • Occupational functioning
  • Daily responsibilities

How Excessive Technology Use Can Pose Long-Term Health Risks

It can also exacerbate or contribute to issues that can lead to long-term health risks. These health issues can include:

  • Eye strain
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Sedentary behavior

Recognizing and addressing technology overuse through treatment can be the first step towards reclaiming a balanced, healthy, and fulfilling life.

technology and mental health

How Black Horse Health Can Help with Technology and Mental Health

At Black Horse Health, we understand how much technology overuse can impact your well-being. Our licensed and caring staff are here with open arms to help pave the way through technology and mental health struggles so that you can heal holistically and comprehensively.

We will work with you every step of the way to provide an individualized treatment plan. This will address any of your symptoms and concerns. We also provide care for dual diagnosis, so if you struggle with technology dependance and mental health concerns, we can provide support for both.

Treatment Opportunities to Repair Your Relationship With Technology and Mental Health

If you or your loved one are ready to begin healing and leading a more present, happy, and fulfilled life – free from any behavioral addictions, such as an addiction to technology – know that we have the resources needed to support you.

Some treatment opportunities offered by our Black Horse Health expert staff include:

  • Partial hospitalization programs (PHP)
  • Intensive outpatient programs (IOP)
  • Co-ed rehab
  • Dual diagnosis treatment
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT)

We also offer holistic treatment options, which complement our evidence-based treatment modalities very well. Some of these include art therapy, drama therapy, equine therapy, or even experiential therapy.

Reach Out to Us Today

Contact us today to learn more about our available programs to help with technology and mental health. We are dedicated to meeting all individuals where they are in their recovery journey.

This means that we listen without judgment and provide the support you deserve during your healing process. Get in touch with our team of premier experts today.