Dr Victoria L Dunckley is an integrative child psychiatrist. As an integrative practitioner she looks at life style factors that could be contributing to her patients problem to optimize treatment, and to reduce the need for pharmaceutical medications.
Rather than concentrating on the radioactive effects of electronics, she has focused on restricting the usage (screen time) of electronic devices for her patients, as this has given the children the most dramatic benefits, for the last 10 years.
This action plan was implemented when it became noticeable there was an excessive increase in children with:
- Various psychiatric disorders – Autism, ADHD (attention deficit disorder), Bi-polar, Ticks and Tourettes syndrome.
- Psychotropic medicine use – More and more children being put on these medications, particularly stimulants which are used for attention. Included in this are children being put on anti-psychotic drugs for various disorders. (It is important to note that anti-psychotics have long term and short term side effects).
- Various chronic medical conditions – These conditions include obesity, high blood pressure.
- Disability filings – For psychological psychiatric and neurological disorders.
- Gender achievement gaps – Student IQ levels are dropping. This is more prominent in boys.
Along with the main problems listed above, sleep disturbance, aggressive behavior, moodiness, difficulty socializing with others, impaired attention levels, various learning problems – including delayed reading and writing skills, various addictions (including technology addiction), and a diminished ability to be creative.
Dr Dunckley is quick to point out that the rise in the above issues relating to children, also coincides with the rise in electronic usage of children.
The average usage time spans of electronics such as I-pads, I-phones, cell phones, computers etc (with those on wireless networks being the most harmful), for most children is 5 – 7 hours a day, and is increasing. Toddlers are also being introduced to electronics and alarmingly, manufacturers are always finding new ways to entice youngsters to use electronics more.
More and more schools are using and expecting their students to use electronics as a learning tool, instead of the good old fashioned pen and paper way. Dr Dunckley points out, reading from a screen hinders literacy and comprehension skills.
Taking notes by hand is far more superior than taking notes, for example on a laptop. Taking notes with pen and paper accelerates the memory, integrative material and exam performance.
(1) Eye contact
(2) Face to face conversation with adults
(3) Contact with adults
(4) Body movement
(5) Exposure to the outdoors and nature
All of these 5 points are getting reduced with technology use in the class room. She also points out that anything with a screen acts as a stimulant, similar to how drugs and caffeine do, another words – screen time acts as an irritant to the nervous system.
The reasoning behind this is, viewing a screen can change the dopamine levels in the brain, the bright colors and movement on the screen increases stress on the sensory system and decreases melatonin, the extra multi-tasking on the electronic device depletes mental reserves, resulting in impaired performance and attention span time. Last but not least the radiation (also known as microwave radiation), from the electronic device also raises stress levels on various parts of the body. For more information about electronic radiation – See Harmful Effects of Electronic Radiation.
As a result of the implications electronics cause on the brain, many children and adults are being mis-diagnosed for their health impairments and put onto dangerous psychiatry drugs, when they don’t need them. This is largely due to most doctors not being taught about the harmful effects of electronic exposure.
Dr Dunckley has found by restricting electronic usage of her patients, results have been drastically effective in reducing, and in some cases completely stopping the symtoms the child had. She has written a book about what she does: Reset Your Child’s Brain: A Four-Week Plan to End Meltdowns, Raise Grades, and Boost Social Skills by Reversing the Effects of Electronic usage Time. This book is also a guide for parents with children effected by electronics.
It is also important to note that more and more men, woman and children are becoming sensitive to electronic devices, and developing a condition that many general practitioners are not taught about, called Electro-sensitivity.
Many scientists have also been warning the public and regulators about the harmful effects caused by electronic devices. Due to their warnings being ignored, they appealed to the United Nations to Protect the Public Against the Health Effects of electronic devices, in May 2015.
Article by Wen Dee
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