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Drugs & Health Blog

Are You Addicted to Your Cell Phone?

This blog post is archived and is no longer being updated. For the latest content, please visit the main Drugs & Health Blog page.
Sara Bellum

A phobia is a strong, irrational fear of something that poses little or no actual danger. Phobias can cause a lot of anxiety, panic, and even fainting. You may have heard of some phobias, such as arachnophobia (fear of spiders) or claustrophia (fear of confined spaces).

But have you ever heard of nomophobia—the fear of being without your cell phone? We’ve all had that anxious feeling when you’ve lost your phone or accidentally left it at home. But does your anxiety increase to the point of being a phobia?


Nomophobia—an abbreviation of “no-mobile-phone-phobia”—is also called “cell phone addiction.” Symptoms include:

  • Experiencing anxiety or panic over losing your phone
  • Obsessively checking for missed calls, emails, and texts
  • Using your phone in inappropriate places like the bathroom or church
  • Missing out on opportunities for face-to-face interactions

A recent survey found that two-thirds of people in the United Kingdom experience nomophobia. That number increases to 77% for young people age 18‒24. Cell phone use is definitely increasing everywhere, especially among teens…overall in the U.S., 75% of all teens text, sending an average of 60‒100 texts per day.

Is Nomophobia Real?

Researchers debate whether nomophobia is a real addiction. Addiction to drugs stems from their causing dopamine to flood the brain—which can trigger euphoria and a strong desire to repeat the experience. Researchers question whether the anticipation or rush of receiving an email, text, or Facebook status update may also trigger release of dopamine. But no studies have examined the issue.

So, what do you think? Do you believe nomophobia is real? Do you know people who are addicted to their cell phones? Are you?

Comments posted to the Drugs & Health Blog are from the general public and may contain inaccurate information. They do not represent the views of NIDA or any other federal government entity.


Everyone panics when they loose their phone. Especially teenagers because most parents will get very mad. Even if you are not addicted to your phone, you panic when you loose it.
i am addict of phone
me 2
even adults use their phones daily and miss out on current events for their phone people are becoming more lazy and no willing to do things because of their phones
it dosent matter how old you are someone can be addicted.
It is definitely real...I work in a high school...if you tell these students they can't use their phones, they visibly panic.
It's not just students it's everyone! Don't blame teens!
Teens are the most vulnerable because the brain hasn't established "wisdom". Once you get that not everything in life is based on self worth and contact with peers, and not being involved in "everything going on in every aspect of life", you can relax and go with the flow of human existence.
Many phobias are to be avoided or else these can cause Anxiety and panic. Nomophobia the name itself indicates that "nomobile phobia", many people can't stay without the mobile and the fear and anxiety levels will be increased when they lost the phone. These fears and phobias can be reduced by avoid the mobile during driving. Spend some time without phone. Start to write all your feelings in a journal. Avoid the gadgets before your bed time. spend sometime with your friends and family members.
I belive it because we work in a office that one of the women here is on her phone all day sad..........
Hiya nomophobia is super real
The habits have been changed to bad, nowadays the kids don't want to read they just search everything online
Isn't it weird how young people published all over them. Places, restaurants, thoughts, are published by teens and often lose the most enjoyables times. Cell phones have been attached emotionally to people
Dont put fingers in teens because parents grandparents could also get addicted like I'm not addicted to my phone but my parents are
i was a social smoker before reading this artical but now i am saying bye bye to smoking
thanks for share
I am cell phone addict I need help