Almost all of us know the anxiety that a low battery notification induces within us, especially during a binge session of watching reels or working from home. Turns out, this anxiety can be stemming from an actual phobia of being without your phone.
According to the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care, this condition is called Nomophobia, or NO MObile PHone PhoBIA, and is a psychological condition characterised by a fear of losing mobile phone connectivity.
What Is Nomophobia?
Despite being labelled a ‘phobia,’ it’s more accurately described as an anxiety disorder, as per the above-mentioned study. Factors like low self-esteem and extroverted personality contribute to overusing mobile phones, potentially leading to Nomophobic symptoms. The term originated from a 2008 UK Post Office study, revealing that over half of British mobile users express anxiety when facing phone-related issues. College studies show a significant percentage of students being labelled Nomophobic or at risk, with some checking their phones more than 35 times daily.
Nomophobia is also called Technophobia, and it highlights the influence of modern technology’s influence on our mental health. Surveys indicate young adults, particularly teens, are more prone to nomophobia, with psychological predictors including self-negative views and a sense of urgency. Excessive mobile phone use has also been linked to lower academic performance among students.
The study further highlighted a correlation between anxiety disorders, panic disorders, and nomophobia. Individuals with panic disorders often feel secure with their mobile phones, while mobile phone dependence is prevalent among medical graduates. Overall, the increasing use of mobile phones poses psychological challenges, and understanding these issues is crucial in today’s technologically advanced world.
Like all of us phone addicts, it can be hard to accept that we have surrendered to this device and can not spend our waking hours without it. So here is a set of symptoms that signify you may have developed Nomophobia:
- Respiratory alterations
Talking about treatment, the study underscored the role of parents. The researchers recommended that parents should motivate their children to engage in outdoor activities that encourage face-to-face interactions. This can help channel the energy of youngsters creatively.
Additionally, encouraging your kids to engage in physical activities can have a positive effect on mental health and discourage the abuse of screen time.
If you or someone around you suspects a diagnosis of Nomophobia, it is essential to seek careful investigation and exclusion of other mental disorders. This can aid professional expertise and timely treatment. This is crucial because Nomophobia can manifest itself to a level where it induces anxiety and depression, which are serious conditions.
The study concluded that psychological rehabilitation, counselling, and parental care are crucial. This can only be achieved through education on psychological issues like Nomophobia among parents and guardians.