Description, Causes and Risk Factors:

A lot of people with cell phones have experienced the churning sensation in their stomachs when they realize they have lost their phone. For most, it is easy enough to get another and move on, but for others, losing their phone or not having reception truly is a reason for panic. Nomophobia is an overwhelming fear of being out of contact through mobile phone which causes physical side effects such as panic attack, shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling, sweating, accelerated heart rate, chest pain and nausea.

Nomophobia is a term invented recently. This is named nomophobia after the term no-mobile-phone-phobia. Nomophobia is the fear of going out without carrying your mobile. This term is invented by YouGov, a UK-based research organization. It is found that people get very anxious when they lose their mobile phone, run out of battery or credit, or due to less network coverage. This is recently observed among the people and especially among the teenagers. Those who have this nomophobia never switch off their cell phones and they want to be contactable at all times. Surveys shows that people affected with this nomophobia are always keeping in touch with friends or family just because of their affection towards their mobile phones and the reason they cannot stay away from their mobile without using it. People suffering from this nomophobia will be always busy working with their mobile phones without any valid reasons.

Causes and Risk Factors:

    Low battery.

  • Low credit on mobile account.

  • No service.

  • Lost phone.

  • Just fearing that the phone could be lost.

  • Stolen phone.

  • Just fearing that the phone could be stolen.

  • No cell signs.

  • Broken or malfunctioning phone.

  • A situation where a phone cannot be used.

Nomophobia is very real in todays society. Think about how often you see a group full of people gathered together - and each is talking on their cell phone to someone else! Think about how many people you know that use to their cell phone to the extent that the alarm is the only way they would get up each morning.

Once, having a cell phone was a luxury - nowadays, it appears to be a necessity. Those that suffer from nomophobia will be the first to point that out.


People suffering from this nomophobia will feel anxious if they stay away from their mobile even for few seconds and they will not concentrate on any other words until they reach out to their mobile phones. They will be worrying about losing their phones and this will keep them worried all the time. Also, those who have this nomophobia will be carrying an extra phone just as a precaution when their primary phone breaks. Those who are affected by this nomophobia will be carrying their phone to their bed and they will never stay away from their phone even for a second. If you have all the following signs you may likely to have this nomophobia.

    If losing a cell phone or cell phone reception causes negative physical symptoms, or one never turns off their phone.

  • One recognizes that a panic attack is an overreaction to lack of reception or a dead battery.

  • Obsessively making sure that one has their cell phone or mobile device.

  • Worry about losing one's phone is constantly present despite it being in a secure place.

  • Phobia has persisted over a significant length of time and is affecting one's health or everyday life.


Nomophobia, an abbreviation of “no mobile-phone phobia,” is not recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a phobia.


Treatments for phobias can be approached from several different angles such as exposure therapy or medications to treat the worst of the phobia. Using the exposure therapy method slowly exposes the person with their phobia first through the mind in therapy sessions and then in real life situations. For someone afraid of losing their phone, a therapist might ask them to be without it for a certain period of time. Personalized solutions are also possible.

People with nomophobia can try self-help methods to deal with the worst of the symptoms. Getting informed about nomophobia is the first step in overcoming the fear of disconnection. Learning to keep negative thoughts at bay is also helpful as a negative train of thought can invoke the phobia. Lastly, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga and muscle relaxation can help you deal with the emotional and physical symptoms of a severe phobia.

The development of nomophobia should not come as a surprise, it is simply an extension of the human need for connection. In these modern times of social media, high speed internet and laptops, people feel more connected than ever. However, it is important to be at peace with disconnection as well. Phobia treatment professionals are out there. Getting informed was the first step, next it is important to find a professional who knows how to lead you down the path of recovery.

Preventive Measures:

    Practice turning your mobile off when at movies or sporting events - you don't need it on 24/7.

  • When you do need to concentrate or finish a project quickly - turn your mobile off to avoid interruptions.

  • Go out to dinner with your loved ones, family, or friends - not your mobile. Turn it onto silent and put it in your pocket, not on the table!

  • Set some mobile hours - learn to turn it off at night.

  • Don't sleep with your message alert on - this can wake you up throughout the night and cause disrupted sleep patterns.

  • If you do need to have your mobile on keep the ring tone on a quiet setting - the whole world doesn't need to know that your phone is ringing!

  • Try going mobile free for a day or two - you might even enjoy the peace and silence.

NOTE: The above information is for processing purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition.

DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.


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