Are you afraid to be without your phone? - Dallas News |

Are you afraid to be without your phone?

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Do you feel like you can't live without your phone? You may suffer from nomophobia.

Nomophobia is the fear of being without your cell phone. And before you laugh, there are  support groups for people who say they suffer from it. Doctors say that some people's anxiety over their mobile devices is starting to cross the line.

If you want to study the importance of our mobile devices in our lives, just spend an afternoon in Centennial Olympic Park and people watch. You'll see people texting, taking pictures, checking a map, some talking – mostly you will see smartphones in action no matter what you're doing.

One study by the group SecureEnvoy found that Nomophobia has increased since 2008, from 55 percent of the population to 66 percent in 2012.  

"For some people, they might worry that they are going to miss a phone call, an important meeting, miss a contact. For some people, it's simply their connection to the outside world. It's a way they read what's going on with politics. It's a way to keep up with news. With some people, it's their security blanket.  It's just something that makes them feel right at times," said Dr. Josh Spitalnick.

What about kids? Psychotherapist Suzanne Maiden specializes in treating children. She says a mobile phone for a child is their connection to loved ones and their friends.

"Here we are setting our kids up almost that they have immediate access.  What happens when that stops? What happens if they lose their phone, they drop it in water, it gets broken etc.  Kids can panic," said Maiden.

Maiden says there are times when you might consider getting treatment for nomophobia.

"If it starts causing problems in your relationships, at work, in your own life -- it's dictating your routines, then maybe talking with someone who treats anxiety disorders is a good thing," said Spitalnick.

If it has to be treated, it's is handled like any other phobia.  If it is starting to affect your relationships, starting to affect your daily routine, talk to your doctor about it.

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