Most people these days are so hooked to their cell phones that they are hardly seen without one, and many don’t even have a landline. But at what point does incessant phone use and the resulting fear of being out of touch become a real phobia? Two psychologists argue that “nomophobia” (an abbreviation for “no-mobile-phone phobia”) should be added to the DSM-V manual of psychiatric disease.
The authors do caution that it is important to distinguish between pathological and normal behaviors — which is probably good, because according to a 2010 UK study, “53% of mobile phone users in Britain tend to be anxious when they ‘lose their mobile phone, run out of battery or credit, or have no network coverage.’” Not only that, but “58% of men and 47% of women suffer from the phobia, and an additional 9% feel stressed when their mobile phones are off”. . It’s 10 PM – do you know where your phone is?