Feel Anxious Without Your Phone? You May Have This Condition

Another reason to cut down on screen time.

If you feel glued to your phone, you’re not alone. Most of us are, it seems. In fact, in a recent survey, over a fifth (22%) of respondents aged between 18 and 29 admitted that they check their phones every couple of minutes. Gulp.

With this in mind, it may be unsurprising to you that some people experience such an intense anxiety when they don’t have access to their phones that it becomes a phobia. Nomophobia, to be exact.

According to recent research, “Nomophobes are those who exhibit an addiction to their mobile phone” and the symptoms of this are similar to those of an anxiety disorder or addiction including:

  • Anxiety
  • Agitation
  • Sweating
  • Disorientation
  • Changes in breathing
  • Increased heart rate

Speaking to CNBC, licensed clinical psychologist Blair Steel said the following factors can make you more susceptible to Nomophobia:

  • Pre-existing anxiety
  • Low self-esteem
  • Struggles with emotional regulation
  • Insecure attachment styles
  • A lack of personal relationships

How to tackle Nomophobia

According to Healthline, while this isn’t an officially recognised mental disorder, there are still things you can do to help yourself detach a little from your phone, especially if your reason for attachment are underlying emotional issues. The treatment options available could include:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which helps you to manage negative thoughts and reassess the fears that you’re experiencing
  • Exposure therapy which helps you face your fear by gradually exposing you to it. In this instance, over time, you get used to the experience of not having your phone with you.
  • Medication such as beta blockers to manage the anxiety symptoms you may be experiencing.