Do You Know What is Nomophobia?

Dr. Purushothaman
April 21, 2019

Smartphones have increasingly become the device we use to organize and navigate our daily lives. Be it as basic as calculating small numbers to keeping calendars, chatting continuously with peers and also tapping on the social lives of others, we are constantly glued to our phones and the dependence on devices is clearly only increasing.

Statistics state that an average human checks his phone 34 times a day. Very often, most of the population also takes it to the loo with them. Have you also encountered a pang of anxiety when you are without your mobile phone? If the answer is yes, then maybe you too have this new age fright called Nomophobia.

In this brave new connected world, the growing obsession of being stuck in your phone is perhaps an understandable feeling. Hence, the fear surrounding the impairment or loss of your mobile phone creates added distress. It may seem to be normal, but the society is witnessing a rising trend, especially in high school and college students. So what is this phobia exactly?

What does Nomophobia mean?

In simple terms, Nomophobia refers to the fear of being out of mobile phone contact. It comprises of fears that arise as a result of losing reception, losing the sight of your phone and also when your device is running out of battery. While it may seem odd and a subject of negligence, there have been severe cases of panic attacks and fatal distress among people and the numbers are only increasing with time.

The seriousness of the matter is such that even psychiatrists have proposed this as a specific phobia since it may be linked to other social anxiety disorders. They are largely working on discovering speedy recoveries and beneficial treatments.

Identifying the symptoms

  • Anxiousness

  • Check if your heart starts racing and if have a fully automatic behavioral response to constantly tapping on your pocket and checking on your device. If the worry of becoming un-contactable and the overwhelming feeling of being unable to check your social feeds and emails at a future point is a crystal clear sign of nomophobia.

  • Anger

  • Does it cause some serious irritation when you have been told to put aside your phone over dinner? Does it hit a nerve when you can’t use your phone amidst a meeting, in a religious settlement or for any similar reason? If you go through that and also have sleepless nights and wake up at intervals to check your phone, chances are that you may be a victim of this phobia.

  • Other common symptoms

  • Just like the side-effects of other phobias, nomophobia can also be perceived through common symptoms. If you go through tachycardia, stomach ache, headaches or obsessive thoughts when you are not in contact with your device, ring the red bell and get checked for Nomophobia.

Coping with Nomophobia

Now that you have identified that you are spending too much time attached or fretting when not attached to your phone, what do you do next?

  • Cut down your tech time

  • Go on a digital detox diet and limit your screen time to only a couple of hours daily. Be it your mobile phone, laptop and even television, do not cross a stipulated time. Make sure you engage in other hobbies and interests to utilize your time creatively. It will help expand your horizon and reduce stress and anxiety levels.

  • Go retro

  • Switch from a modern day handset that keeps you hooked to a thousand apps to the olden times stripped back the phone. This will let you stay connected to calls and messages in case of emergencies while not eating up on all your productive time. Once you overcome your phobia of being too attached to the phone, gradually you can switch back to the modernized version of handsets.

  • Put your phone to sleep as well

  • Let your phone rest in one corner of the house and keep it as far as you can when you sleep. This will give your brain a chance to unwind and if you can, switch off your phone and sleep so that your mind is at peace of not receiving any calls and messages while you sleep. Moreover, get an alarm clock as a replacement so you don’t give yourself any reason to wake up to/with your phone.

    Mobile phones are no more a luxury and have become a necessity to stay in contact and keep your loved ones informed about your whereabouts at all times. It is a boon as much as it is turning out to be a curse. It is on you how to keep a check and not let a lifeless device become a serious life threatening force.

    However, treating this phobia as a serious one is essential and therefore, the best modus operandi is to seek professional help. Living in Wellbeing provides for fantastic and advanced medical help to deal with all mental and physical challenges with in-person and online services with therapists. Get in touch with us today and let us bring you the perfect medical solutions to all your problems.

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