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Three Things Everybody Needs to Know About Cell Phone Addiction

July 16, 2013

1. More people own phones than toilets

Five years ago a new word wiggled its way into the English dictionary. Thanks to a few British researchers determined to show the world its dependence on technology, “nomophobia” became the term to describe our mobile technology addiction.

The term specifically applies to people who experience anxiety when they can’t access their mobile technology. If your first action after reading the previous sentence was to make sure your phone was safe in your pocket, or to wonder “Why hasn’t he/she texted back?” than you’re probably part of a surprising majority. Sixty-six percent of those briefed in a recent study of 1000 people showed fear and anxiety over losing their phone.

And now for an interesting little stat from the UN: “Six of the world’s seven billion people have mobile phones – but only 4.5 billion have a toilet.” To think that more people have a cellphone than a toilet is a mind-blowing statistic. .And if the study above is accurate, than we have an epidemic of nomophobiacs, nearly 4 billion cases to be exact.

2. Nomophobia is a Real Problem

Although nomophobia may not seem like a dangerous addiction, it should not be treated lightly. Nomophobia has proved to be a serious issue, and it should be treated as such. First, let’s look at some of the identifying factors of Nomophobia.

Symptoms of this phobia include:

  • Being unable to turn your phone off.
  • Constantly checking for new emails, text messages, or calls.
  • Unable to leave their cell phone behind.

People with an addiction, like mobile phone addiction, lose confidence, security, and contentment when their device isn’t with them.

But when the phone is with them, the picture worsens. Christopher Burns, an experienced therapist at Castle Craig, has created his own list of mobile addiction consequences: “Time wasted, undue dependence on meaningless communication, unrealistic thinking and expectations, money spent, loss of privacy and other interests.”

And, as is the case with many addictions, the list could go on and on. But I think psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow defines the subject well when he says, “Needing anything in order to feel normal and free from panic—whether a phone or three glasses of wine—is a disability.”

3. There is treatment for the Nomophobiac

Although addiction is widely thought of as a disease of the mind, the disease is treatable. And nomophobia is no exception.

Dr. Elizabeth Waterman of Morningside Recovery Center in California, USA was the first to recognize nomophobia as a treatable addiction. For more than a year now, her support group at Morningside has helped technology addicts recover.

The general term for addictions like nomophobia is “behavioral addictions.” Behavioral addictions are obsessions over certain activities that can control your behavior, for example, gambling, Facebook, sex, overeating, video games, and shopping are common behavioral addictions.

Castle Craig

If you’re looking for a centre that specializes in “behavioral addictions,” we would recommend looking into Castle Craig. The professional and individualized therapy at Castle Craig will treat your specific struggle, and place you on a road to recovery.