Classifying Nomophobia as Smart-Phone Addiction Disorder
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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Classifying Nomophobia as Smart-Phone Addiction Disorder


Can people become addicted to using their smart phones? To explore this possibility, this literature review summarizes previous research on smart-phone addiction, nomophobia, and addictive personality disorders. Specifically, this review defines smart-phone addiction and its symptoms along with comorbid disorders and uses disciplines from a cognitive, behavioral, neurobiological, and anthropological disciplines as evidence of its existence. Although this review also found that there is little research on nomophobia and smart-phone addiction, it argues that this should be a call for recognition of growing use smart-phone and potential behavioral addictions they pose. This review also suggests that nomophobia, the anxiety experienced from loss of a smart-phone, is not a specific phobia but rather a withdrawal symptom and proposes that “Smart-phone addiction disorder” be included in future revisions of the DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manuel of Mental Disorders.

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