Fear of Being Out of Mobile Contact

  • Femi Redwood, Anisha Menezes
  • Ebru News
  • Mon Apr 16th 2012

How attached are you, to your cell phone? Do you have a panic attack, if you find yourself without it? Do you have a fear of being without mobile contact? If you do, you could be nomophobic!

"My cell phone is right by my bed, the cell phone is like a kid. You have to protect it and watch it, I need my cell phone everywhere I go", says one cell phone user.

"I couldn't live without it. I just need it all the time," agrees another.

If this sounds familiar, you could have Nomophobia-the fear of being out of mobile phone contact.

A new study by the British internet security firm -Secur-Envoy found that two-thirds of cell phone users have Nomophobia.

What are some of symptoms?

Dr. Steven Brodsky, clinical director and psychologist at the OCD and Panic Center of New York/ New Jersey, gives us insight into this relatively new condition.

"There's a lot of anxiety and discomfort. People could have a panic attack, could get very worried, could be afraid,” explains Dr. Brodsky

Researchers say this fear, crosses all ethnic and social barriers. But young people are more likely to be addicted than baby boomers.

18 to 24 year olds top the list of of Nomophobes, at 77 %.

Dr. Brodsky says younger clients especially rely on their phones as a sort of digital security blanket.

Some children go to bed with their cell phones, instead of teddy bears.

Dr. Brodsky says, “ For some people it is a security blanket because they feel safer. For others it's an addiction, because they have to be fed more messages to feel good about themselves. For others it is a compulsion."

If the unstoppable urge to go back home and get your cell phone sounds like a joke, it's no laughing matter. It could hide a very serious illness.

"It's like Obsessive- Compulsive disorder. People with OCD rely on their phones to check up on things...whereabouts etc.”, adds Dr. Steven Brodsky.

As more people become strapped to their cell phones, Nomophobia continues to rise.

Researchers say it's up 13 % from just four years ago. But Dr. Brodsky says there is a way to control the urge to reach for your phone.

He explains, “Willpower to resist the temptation to pick up something, whether its a cell phone, food, tv. Will power is everything."

If you need help....you can go to www.ocdhotline.com where Dr. Brodsky will give you a personal and confidential answer within 24 hours.

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