Nomophobia: New clinical picture spreads

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Do you suffer from withdrawal symptoms when you leave your cellphone? And can’t you take it out of your hand even when watching TV? Then maybe you have nomophobia.

Most of us know that we spend far too much time glued to our digital devices. Especially when we’re working from home, it’s easier to answer a quick email or send a WhatsApp message to a colleague. But this constant stress is not suitable for our bodies. Doctors call nomophobia the new widespread disease of the digital age.

What is nomophobia?
Nomophobia stands for “no cell phone phobia” and refers to the fear of being unable to without a cellphone or smartphone. This can cause us stress and even panic attacks. For some, it feels through symptoms such as insecurity, inner restlessness, trembling, or sweating.

Andreas Hagemann is a specialist in psychiatry and psychotherapy in Eschweiler, Germany. He said that the mere thought of being without one’s smartphone for a short time causes the stress level of those affected to skyrocket.

In addition to the fear of missing out, self-imposed pressure of expectation certainly plays a significant role. I think the other person expects an immediate response, and if I don’t meet expectations, I disappoint.

“Parallel activities overtax our brain.”
What helps against nomophobia? It’s simple: turn off your cellphone. Going without a cellphone for a certain amount of time is an essential step in therapy, Hagemann explains. The newly gained free space also promotes stress reduction. The expert also recommends checking your screen time and avoiding multitasking.

These parallel activities overtax our brain. It is simply not capable of concentrating on complex activities at the same time. When digital stress gets out of hand, Hagemann advises taking time out, muting the cell phone, and turning off the laptop. Breathing exercises, as well as yoga or meditation, can contribute to more calm in everyday life.

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