If you heard that someone was being treated for nomophobia—basically, the fear of being without their mobile device—you might be tempted to laugh. But you shouldn't, writes Dr. Keith Ablow on Fox News. A cellphone addiction is just like an addiction to drugs or alcohol and should be taken just as seriously—those who suffer from nomophobia need something to make them "feel normal and free from panic," Ablow writes, and the disorder could actually serve as a "gateway drug" to other addictions.
People with nomophobia may see their relationships suffer if they limit anything that interferes with their cellphone access—like going out, talking, and being intimate. A new study shows that nomophobia is on the rise, and it is indeed "a disability," Ablow writes. That's why he's glad that the Morningside Recovery Center has started the first recovery group for the phobia. "While it is clearly not as toxic to one’s lungs or liver as drugs or alcohol, it can be just as toxic to one’s self-determination and relationships and may actually make people more vulnerable to other addictions." Click for Ablow's full column.