As Victoria Proody, a Toronto-based occupational therapist, has written (and others have documented elsewhere), the rise of ubiquitous smartphones and tablets coincides with heartbreaking increases in the rates at which young people suffer from serious mental illnesses--and even commit suicide. For example:
1. There's been a drastic increase in rates of suicide among children.
Over the past decade, there was a 100 percent increase in the number of children and adolescents admitted to hospitals for attempted suicide or self-harm, and a 200 percent increase in the suicide rate for children aged 10 to 14.

2. We've seen a significant rise in the rate of diagnoses of ADHD.
Between 2003 and 2011, the rate at which kids were diagnosed with ADHD increased 43 percent--an increase of more than 2 million over the earlier time period.
3. Many more of our children are being diagnosed with serious psychological disorders.
Just over 20 percent of Americans under age 18 either now have a "seriously debilitating mental disorder," or have had one in the past, according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
4. There is an epidemic of teen depression.
Between 2005 and 2014, the percentage of 12 to 20-year-olds who had at least one "major depressive episode" jumped 37 percent.
Meantime, studies have shown that 70 percent of children under age 12 use tablets, that 40 percent of children aged 2 to 4 "often found some mobile device in their hands," and that "25 percent of children between the ages of 2 and 5 have [their own] smartphone."

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