Can't stay away from your phone? You probably have nomophobia
Do you feel anxious and even feel panicked when you cannot find your phone? Does the thought of being isolated from your smartphone fill you with a sense of dread? If so, you might be experiencing some of the symptoms of nomophobia, a very 21st-century problem. Nomophobia is an abbreviation of 'NO-MObile-PHOne phoBIA'. Read on to know in detail about the term.
What Is Nomophobia?
It is a psychological condition when people have a fear of being detached from their mobile phones. However, the suffix 'phobia' is wrongly attached to it, because mostly it seems to be a type of anxiety disorder. People with this condition may also experience anxiety when their phones run out of battery, has no cellular coverage, or are simply lost.
Where did the term originate?
Nomophobia was first used in a 2008 study commissioned by the UK Postal Office. The study, which took a sample of more than 2100 adults, showed that 53% of participants experienced this condition. The study also revealed that this fear can be so powerful that one finds it impossible to turn off their phone even when they won't be using their device.
What are its signs and symptoms?
Symptoms may manifest as the inability to turn off your phone, constantly checking your phone for missed calls, messages, or emails, or worrying about being disconnected from the internet. In addition to emotional and cognitive symptoms, people might experience shorter breaths, an increased heart rate, and profuse sweating. In severe cases, it can escalate to panic attacks too.
What causes nomophobia?
A lot of young generation people were born and brought up in this age of advanced digital technology, so these devices have almost become an integral part of their bodies. Smartphones can be used to conduct business, stay organized, share personal information, and even manage money. Because of their varied uses, it is no surprise that people's dependency on them has increased.
What can you do about it?
If you find the signs and symptoms of nomophobia relatable, and it is causing problems in your daily life, talking to a mental health professional can help. There's no specific treatment available for this condition. However, your therapist may recommend exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, or both to address your symptoms. In rare cases, you may be prescribed medications by your doctor.