Nomophobia: Fear of being phoneless leads to panic attacks, study says

Monday, 20 February 2012 15:17
cellphone091509_optBY ANGELA DAIDONE

Studies are showing that there is new phobia surfacing which has nothing to do with nuclear attack, closed-in spaces or speaking in public.

Nomophobia is on the rise across the globe. Haven’t heard of it?

It’s the fear of being without or losing one’s mobile device(s). And it’s very real.

According to a new study conducted by SecurEnvoy, a company that specializes in digital passwords, found that 66 percent of employed individuals who have a cellphone are developing the phobia, up from 53 percent reported when the study began several years ago.

What’s more, there seems to be very little chance of the trend slowing down, the report stated. Consider these statistics:  people check their phones, on average, 34 times a day, women worry more about losing their phones than do men (70 percent to 61 percent), and 75 percent of the poll’s respondents say they’ve used their phones while in the bathroom.

Like with other phobias, nomophobia causes physical side effects, such as panic attacks, shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling, sweating, accelerated heart rate, chest pain and nausea.

According to, here are some symptoms of 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

Those suffering with nomophobia, or other panic disorders, are advised to seek professional therapeutic help.