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Psychological Disorders 2023

Nomophobia: what é, symptoms and how to avoid

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Nomophobia: what é, symptoms and how to avoid
Nomophobia: what é, symptoms and how to avoid

Nomophobia is a term that describes the fear of being without contact with the cell phone, being a word derived from the English expression " no mobile phone phobia ". This term is not recognized by the medical community, but it has been used and studied since 2008 to describe the addictive behavior and the feelings of anguish and anxiety that some people show when they don't have a cell phone close by.

Nomophobia is usually identified mainly in pre-teens and teenagers, as they are the ones who most consume this type of technology and spend the most time on social networks.

Because it is a phobia, it is not always possible to identify the cause that makes people feel anxious about being away from their cell phone, but in some cases, these feelings are justified by the fear of not being able to know what is happening in the world or needing medical assistance and not being able to ask for help.

Main symptoms

Some signs that can help identify that you have nomophobia include:

  • Feeling anxiety when not using your cell phone for a long time;
  • Need to take several breaks at work to use the cell phone;
  • Never turn off your cell phone, even to sleep;
  • Wake up in the middle of the night to go on the cell phone;
  • Charging your phone frequently to ensure you always have battery;
  • Being very upset when you forget your cell phone at home;
  • Check your phone frequently for notifications;
  • Anxiety when in an environment with no internet signal;
  • Take the phone charger everywhere for fear the battery will run out.

Furthermore, other physical symptoms that seem to be associated with signs of nomophobia are those of addiction, such as increased heart rate, feeling of excessive sweating, restlessness, and rapid breathing.

Since nomophobia is still being studied and is not recognized as a psychological disorder, there is still no fixed list of symptoms, there are only several different forms that help the person to understand if they may have some level of dependence to cell phone.

What causes nomophobia

Nomophobia is a type of addiction and phobia that has slowly emerged over the years and is related to the fact that cell phones, as well as other electronic devices, have become increasingly smaller, more portable and Internet access. This means that each person is contactable at all times and can also see what is happening around them in real time, which ends up generating a feeling of tranquility and that nothing important is being missed.

Therefore, whenever someone is away from their cell phone or other form of communication, there is a common fear of missing something important and of not being easily reachable in case of an emergency. This is where the sensation known as nomophobia arises.

How to avoid dependency

To try to combat nomophobia there are some guidelines that can be followed every day:

  • Having several moments during the day when you don't have your cell phone and you prefer face-to-face conversations;
  • Progressively decrease cell phone use;
  • Do not use your cell phone in the first 30 minutes after waking up and in the last 30 minutes before going to sleep;
  • Place the cell phone to charge on a surface far from the bed;
  • Turn off your cell phone at night.

When there is already some degree of dependence, it may be necessary to consult a psychologist to start therapy, which can include various types of techniques to try to deal with the anxiety generated by the lack of cell phone, such as yoga, guided meditation or positive visualization.

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