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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
*Panic and Respiration Laboratory
†Centro de Ciências Médicas da Universidade Federal Fluminense (UFF) and Panic and Respiration Laboratory, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, INCT Translational Medicine (CNPq)
Reprints: Antonio Egidio Nardi, MD, PhD, Laboratory of Panic and Respiration, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, R. Visconde de Pirajá 407/702, Rio de Janeiro 22410-003 Brazil (e-mail: email@example.com).
Received for publication September 9, 2008
accepted June 29, 2009