Well it’s official. After a fair amount of ‘is it, or isn’t it?‘ time, nomophobia, or the fear of being without your mobile phone, has finally become a real treatable illness. How do we know? Well it’s moved out of the sensational news media realm and onto the price lists of psychiatric clinics around the world. Scary eh?
It seems also that the problem isn’t isolated to just the high speed Western lifestyle either. Clinical treatments seem to be popping up all over the place, as are a number of online resources dedicated to helping people kick this unhealthy obsession with their cell phones.
There’s Nomophobics Anonymous (pretty defunct at the moment it seems), Nomophobia from Singapore (another low traffic self-help blog), Nomophobia.com and a fairly extensive section on the illness from All About Counseling dot com. So it’s official, right?
And then there are the professionals. We received a press release the other day from the Morningside Recovery Clinic in California, which we see was also sent to a fair number of other tech blogs, to announce that they were indeed now offering ‘the first ever recovery group’ to focus on the problem. A problem which has grown 13% from two years ago, and which ‘studies‘ now say affects over 60% of the population. And which population would that be, madam?
Dr Elizabeth Waterman from the clinic says she’s seen a ‘deep increase’ in her nomophobic patients, and no doubt we’d hear a similar story if we talked to Dr Jeremy Frank in Philadelphia, or the Psico Salud clinic in Cadiz, Spain. In the meantime, journalist Peg DeGrassa has already ‘come out‘ in print as a sufferer, which means there should be many more lining up to expose their inner turmoil in this way.
So, dear nomophobes of the world, fear not, you are in good company and good hands. The world is keen to offer sage advice and nod in sympathy, the professionals wait to serve their invoices and the media, as ever, hope to reap the benefits of scaring you all into worrying about yet another first world scourge.
So, are you addicted to fear-mongering news? Don’t worry, there’s an app for that.