Magazine article Psychology Today

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Magazine article Psychology Today

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Article excerpt

FEELINGS, NOT PHONES

I'm glad that the causal relationship between screen time and adolescent depression was debunked in "Are Screens Really Hurting Teens?" (June), and that the writer also mentioned that unhealthy symptoms may lead to more screen use. I'm a counselor who often works with teens; video games and social media are always in the room. The fundamental issue, however, is that screen use offers distraction from unwanted thoughts and feelings. Peopleespecially the younghave little tolerance for feeling crummy; distraction is a short-term fix with long-term ramifications. If we're not helping kids feel better about feeling worse, we're missing something vital to their mental health.

JOHN POWELL

Burlington, Vermont

ANOTHER VIEW OF AUTISM

At first, I was excited to read "The Puzzle of the Unbalanced Mind" (April), because I thought it might discuss my belief that autism survives in the population because of certain valuable traits (vigilance, hyperfocus) associated with it. Instead, the article presented the same old conflation of autism and mental illness. Autism is categorically not similar to bipolar disorder or schizophrenia, both of which can respond favorably to medication. Autism cannot. Please stop conflating autism with mood disorders or other mental illnesses. This thinking is hurtful to autistic individuals and their families, who already suffer enough from ignorance about autism in our society.

SARAH SWENSON

Seattle, Washington

THE AGE OF AMBIGUITY

"The Endless Breakup" (June) explains so much about why online dating fails more than it succeeds and why matching your needs with another's is harder than it used to be. …

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