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Nomophobia: Addiction to Cell Phones

Nomophobia: Addiction to Cell Phones
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Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 12:04pm

Your cell phone can be more than just an electronic leash if you have trouble separting yourself from it. People who are severely addicted to their cell phones suffer from "nomophobia."

It's a serious medical problem that 66% of the population suffers from and can cause many people to suffer severe anxiety or panic attacks, "Call, text, instagram, twitter, surf the internet, everything," Khadijah Haywood, a cell phone user says.

And if you have trouble leaving your cell phone behind, that feeling could be more than just separation anxiety, it could be a new medical term called "nomophobia." "I just get real scared, like something's going to happen to it when I know it's not. Even if I'm at home and I just leave it in my room I have to get it like real quick," Haywood explains.

"Nomophobia means no mobile phone phobia," Dr. Elizabeth Waterman, a Psychologist explains. Dr. Waterman says symptoms include panic and anxiety when separated from your phone, compulsively checking your phone for messages, and having your phone come between you and your relationships.

"For some people who use the phone excessively, we know that the brain is actually responding to the phone as if it is a drug," Dr. Waterman says.

But Haywood says her relationship with her phone may not be a sign of "nomophobia."

"I just rather be a teen with a phone," she says, it may be a sign of the times.

"It's definitely the generation, everyone that has a phone. Everyone is protective of their phone," Haywood says. 

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