Nomophobia: The Mobile Phone in Panic Disorder With Agoraphobia: Reducing Phobias or Worsening of Dependence?

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Abstract

Objective

In this report, we present and discuss a hypothesis for the development, in individuals with panic disorder and agoraphobia, of dependence on his or her mobile phone (MP).

Background

This disorder, termed nomophobia, is a result of the development of new technologies. Nomophobia is considered a disorder of the modern world and refers to discomfort or anxiety caused by being out of contact with a MP or computer. It is the pathologic fear of remaining out of touch with technology.

Method

We present, the case report of a patient who has continuously kept his MP with him since 1995 because of his overwhelming need to feel safe and to be able to immediately call emergency services and people he trusts should he feel sick.

Result

The patient was treated with medication and cognitive-behavior psychotherapy. He has remained asymptomatic for 4 years. The patient showed significant medical improvement in his panic disorder and phobias, but there has been no change in his nomophobia.

Conclusions

The case presented here illustrates the dependence of an individual with panic disorder on his MP. A specific approach for this dependence should be used in some panic disorder patients.

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