Smartphones have become an important part of our lives. They not only allow us to communicate with each other, but they also serve as a socializing tool, mobile bank, alarm clock, calendar, and shopping tool. Overdependence on digital devices has made our behaviors addicted to them. Today, we’ll discuss what is nomophobia; its symptoms, causes, and treatment.
It’s possible that you would lose your phone, forget it at home, break your phone, and be outside of contact of your phone, and breaking your phone. It becomes a significant concern when you aren’t connected with the world. However, when they’re out of service, run out of battery, or lose their phone, then it results in the form of stress and anxiety or a panic attack in the worst case.
What is Nomophobia?
You may have come across some people that have panic and anxiety attacks when they’re without their phones. The thought of separating from their phone makes them feel dreadful. If this is the case, then they’re exhibiting the symptoms of nomophobia.
Nomophobia is the latest term, floated in 2008, and it is from the words “no-mobile-phone-phobia.” Roundabout 2100 adults participated in the study, and out of them, 53% of the people experience the symptoms of the nomophobic condition. The condition outlines the feelings of stress, anxiety, and panic; when they’re out of cellular coverage, run out of battery, and lose their phone.
Studies have shown that most people don’t turn off their phones, even at night when they aren’t using them. When asked why they don’t turn off their phone, 55% of the people said that they should get in touch with their friends and family, 10% of the people said that they need to remain in contact with for work, and 9% of the people said that turning off their devices make them feel anxious.
It’s the fear of missing something in their life that they need to call or text when they’re clearly occupied in the middle of something else. Studies have shown that people would allow disrupting their routine life activities in order to answer the call. Approximately 80% of the people would answer the call while watching TV, 40% of the people answer it while eating a meal, and 18% of the people would answer it while sleeping in bed.
Symptoms of Nomophobia
Some of the main symptoms of nomophobia are as follows;
- Skipping and avoiding planned activities in order to be with your phone
- Feeling stressed out from being disconnected from the online activity
- Worrisome feelings that something bad would happen and you wouldn’t have the capability to make the call for help
- Fearful feelings without Wifi and you feel the need to connect with the cellular data
- Checking your phone repetitively to make sure that you have got your phone with you
- Take your phone wherever you go even in the bathroom
- Feeling the need to charge your phone when the battery is full
- Checking your phone consistently for missed calls, messages, and emails
- Feeling incapable to turn off your smartphone
Along with experiencing cognitive and emotional symptoms, some people would also experience physical symptoms as well. They’re as follows;
- Panic attack in the aggravated situation
- Dizzy and feeling weak
- Trembling and shaking
- Heart rate
- Breathing faster
Causes of Nomophobia
Researchers don’t know the exact and precise causes of nomophobia. An article in 2016 pointed out that the development of nomophobic conditions happens due to the instant gratification and instant communication that smartphone devices offer. It can also develop the compulsive and addictive disorder.
Other researchers think that phobia or anxiety disorder would cause the development of nomophobic conditions. Another article in 2020 proposed some of the main causes of nomophobic condition and they’re as follows;
- Total number of hours a person uses the smartphone every day
- Interpersonal sensitivity makes a person analyze the traits and characteristics from nonverbal cues in others, and it comprises elements like; social discomfort, and feelings of personal inferiority
- Compulsive behavior and obsessive thoughts relevant to the usage of smartphone
Treatment of Nomophobia
Since nomophobia doesn’t officially fall under the category of specific phobia and there is no official treatment for nomophobic conditions. The doctors would recommend the same type of treatment plan as for specific phobia. Some of them are as follows;
In order to treat the anxiety, your doctor would prescribe the following;
Behavioral therapy is the standard treatment for dealing with specific types of phobias. The therapeutic approach would help you to manage the underlying beliefs and fears relevant to the phobia. Some of the main types of therapies are as follows;
- Hypnotherapy: it comprises the techniques that your therapist would guide you on how to soothe your mind when you don’t have your phone with you
- Exposure Therapy or Desensitization: it means exposing yourself to fearful objects and situations gradually. In the nomophobic condition, your doctor would limit your access to the smartphone in a controlled environment.
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: it comprises changing your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors and replacing them with the positive ones
Finding a support group and meeting like-minded people that are going through the same phase of what you’re experiencing. It would make you feel that you aren’t alone.
Conclusion: What is Nomophobia? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
After an in-depth study of what is nomophobia; its symptoms, causes, and treatment; we have realized that nomophobic conditions could badly impact your life. If you’re experiencing its symptoms, then you should consult with the therapist and work on the treatment plan.
Ahsan is an accomplished researcher and has a deep insight in worldly life affairs. He goes Live 3 days a week on various social media platforms. Other than research writing, he’s a very interesting person.