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I have been in practice for over 35 years and have been around long enough to appreciate that each new generation of kids comes with its own struggle of the times. Over the past 10 years or so, the children in my former private practice in Olympia and, more recently, in my practice at Madigan Army Medical Center all too often were presenting with ever increasing behavioral dysregulation to include extreme tantrums, aggression to peers and adults, destruction of property, negative mood, threats to harm self or others, and self-injury. As I started to ponder what was going on, it has been increasingly clear that the common thread appeared to be an ever-growing consumption of media. I began reviewing the literature to see if anyone else was coming to the same conclusion and found seven seminal thinkers. This paper will summarize my thoughts as well as the amazing work of these seminal writers. My hope is that it will enable parents to appreciate that our children are in trouble, serious trouble, so deep in fact that, left unchecked, their futures and in some cases, their very lives, are at stake. But there is hope – new research is offering us a clear understanding on what is happening emotionally, neurologically, and psychologically to media addicted children and well-thought-out parental guidance and, when needed, treatment protocols are being developed and successfully implemented

Digital Enslavement Amidst the Search for Intimacy" offers a critical exploration of pornography addiction's effects on individuals and society. Beginning with an overview of the addiction's severity, the book delves into the origins of such addiction, emphasizing digital pornography's accessibility. A notable section on the neuroscience behind addiction provides a solid scientific basis, explaining the biological challenges in overcoming this addiction.

Dr. Jeffrey Hansen thoroughly examines the impacts of pornography addiction, including its physical, mental, and societal consequences. Dr. Hansen highlights the troubling links between pornography, sexual aggression, and the objectification of women, presenting well-researched arguments and real-life examples. The discussion extends to the worrying trend of the sexualization of children, prompted by early exposure to pornography.

Concluding with a chapter on recovery and treatment options, "Digital Enslavement Amidst the Search for Intimacy" transitions from diagnosis to hopeful solutions, offering practical advice for those seeking to break free from pornography addiction. This concise yet comprehensive guide combines scientific insight with empathetic advice, making it a valuable resource for a wide audience, including those affected by addiction, professionals, and concerned individuals. Its core message is one of hope: recovery is challenging but achievable through understanding, support, and determined effort.

Andrew P. Doan, MPH, MD, PhD

Adjunct Associate Professor of Surgery, Uniformed Services University 

Ophthalmology and Aerospace Medicine 

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Tornadoes ravage the land, hurricanes the sea – leaving paths of destruction wherever they go, but nothing compares to the tempest within, the one that tears at the soul and robs one of peace. This is a story of the pain of searing emotional dysregulation, one that does not respect age, gender, race, or station in life. It can start in infancy and, left unmanaged, has the potential for damaging or even destroying your life, and possibly even the lives of those around you. It almost destroyed mine and I will risk sharing some of my story in hopes that it might help you or the ones you care about and love. This book will help you understand the causes, effects, and remedies for emotion dysregulation, depression, and anxiety that wage war on the soul from a developmental trauma, epigenetic, and polyvagal theory perspective.

Dr. Hansen delivers an outstanding look at the transgender phenomenon and how it is affecting our youth in a book which is broad in scope, yet concise. He starts with definitions and statistics and then moves to the root causes of the development of dysphoria in children such as trauma and social media use. He then takes a deep dive into the problems of hormonal manipulations and surgeries followed by the abrupt change of course of several European nations in using these interventions. And all of this backed with useful quotes and references and enhanced by engaging illustrations.

 

As an endocrinologist, I clearly recognize that if anything, endocrinology is about balance. The hormones of the body need to be finely tuned in order to bring about both physical and mental health. The inevitable harms that result from driving these hormones far out of their normal ranges by "gender affirmative care" are clearly expressed in Dr. Hansen's explanations (and I am both proud and grateful that he has used some of my graphics for illustration). But as Dr. Hansen rightly points out, a mind that is unbalanced is no less dangerous than a body unbalanced and in fact the two need to be viewed as an integrated whole.  It is this desire to bring about such healthy wholeness to youth that has guided his years of clinical experience with children and, in my opinion, provides him with the best vantage point to see how those suffering with gender dysphoria may be healed. This book is a most excellent and strong step forward in that direction.

 

Michael K. Laidlaw, MD

Board Certified Endocrinologist

Rocklin, CA, USA

With over 55 years of collective clinical expertise, the authors delve into the emerging concern of behavioral dysregulation amongst children, tracing it back to increased media consumption. Dr. Hansen's observations as a pediatric and adolescent psychologist, coupled with Dr. Doan's extensive study on media addiction, unveil a startling pattern linking excessive screen time to severe behavioral issues, such as "virtual autism." This book simplifies complex concepts and offers an extensively referenced exploration into this modern-day challenge. Through easy-to-grasp explanations, the authors shed light on the subtle yet profound impact of the digital world on our children's behavior and mental health.

Book Reviews

Get. This. Book. The world is on fire and all we keep reading about is how the mental health of kids is deteriorating. Why? This wonderfully insightful and concise book spells it out. If you are a parent, teacher, therapist or even a teen struggling with digital media, there is no better resource out there for understanding how our tech love affair has affected kids and young people. But rather than just explaining the problem, Dr. Doan and Dr. Hansen also lay out a clear and detailed solution. Drs. Doan and Hansen are two of the most seasoned experts in understanding digital media's impacts and and have written a fantastic and easy-to-read book, yet one that is fully grounded in science. This is the definitive primer for screen issues that clearly defines the real problem- along with the solution: in our shiny digital age, kids are starved for a sense of purpose and need meaningful real-world connection! Thank you Drs. Doan and Hansen for this essential resource.

Nicholas Kardaras, Ph.D.
Bestselling author of Glow Kids and Digital Madness
Clinical Assistant Professor at Stony Brook Medicine

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