Do you feel anxious without your cell phone? You may be suffering from nomophobia

  • Some people experience difficulties when they are without their mobile devices for an extended period of time.
  • It could be a psychological condition known as nomophobia.
  • Symptoms are similar to other conditions.

How attached are you to your mobile device? Are you frantically looking for a charger so as not to be disconnected from the cyberworld? Chances are, you unknowingly suffer from nomophobia!

Described as a psychological condition, – nomophobia which stems from ‘No cell phone phobia‘ – is the anxiety caused when one is separated from one’s device.

In recent years, the smartphone addiction has become a growing concern among adolescents and adults; games, videos and social media as these features have become increasingly attractive with the ability to scroll smartphone users for long periods of time.

However, clinical psychologist, Pam Tudin-Buchalter, describes nomophobia as being more than just “separate” from one’s device and rather a fear of “missing out.”

“Missing out on updates, news, the ability to connect with others, and even the ability to dismiss others,” says Tudin-Buchalter.

Several studies suggest that the prevalence of nomophobia was due to smartphone addiction; However, the Journal of Family Medicine and Primary Care shows that it is difficult to establish a link with smartphone addiction and nomophobia or whether the patient had an existing anxiety disorder similar to the symptoms of nomophobia.

The study further Explainwhile this condition can be “difficult” for patients’ families to understand, the condition is also too “complex” for doctors, as the clinical symptoms of nomophobia are similar to those of other disorders.

Given the current state of the South African power supply and the prevalence of nomophobia, South Africa has yet to see an increase in ‘battery anxiety’ as load shedding persists .

Here are some symptoms to watch out for:

1. Panic

2. Bustle

3. Anxiety

4. Disorientation

5. Tachycardia

Recent blackouts have reduced “cyber time” as SA load shedding schedules disrupt 2-2.5 hours of screen time, but for South Africans suffering from nomophobia, here are some tips on how to overcome it” battery anxiety”.

Five ways to save your battery life:

1. Download an app that will track load shedding in your area.

2. Invest in a power bank to ensure you always have battery life.

3. Set your phone’s brightness to “auto-brightness” so that when you walk into a room with bright lighting, you don’t use as much power.

4. Manage background app refresh to turn off apps that consume too much power.

5. Turn off unnecessary notifications to let your phone “go to sleep”.

Many may consider this phobia trivial, but some people are very anxious about being detached from their device; luckily there is help.

People with nomophobia can improve their anxiety through treatment and lifestyle changes. We encourage anyone in difficulty to seek professional assistance.


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