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Textaphrenia: An emerging silent pandemic

Authors:

Abstract

We read the article by Ramlall et al (2013) with great interest which presents one of the few studies conducted on African population for prevalence of Dementia and Minimal Cognitive Deficits. The study brings to the fore some important data regarding the prevalence of Minimal cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia in the African population as well as their socio-demographic profiles. Additionally the authors have also detailed the associated medical problems with these disorders in the backdrop of the available literature. However, we would humbly like to point out an important lacuna in the diagnostic evaluations used in the study which is common to earlier prevalence studies of dementia and MCI.
510
Afr J Psychiatry 2014;17:510-511
Letter to Editor | http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/1994-8220.1000e103
African Journal of Psychiatry • January 2014
There has been a tremendous growth in the use of mobile/
smart phones for text messaging during the past fifteen
years. This is due to its usefulness in communication
and interactions in the sphere of work and private life.
Recent studies have shown that the use of text messaging
through mobile/smart phones for social networking
has also helped in reducing loneliness1,2 However, it is
reported that an excessive use of mobile/smart phones
is associated with some specific psychiatric morbidities
3.One of these new emerging mental health problems is
known as “Textaphrenia”. It is defined as a “disease of text
messages or addiction to text messages”3. In other words,
Textaphrenia is an apprehension that a text message had
arrived. While in reality, there is no text message arrived yet.
Textiety is the anxious feeling of not receiving or sending
text messages. This newly emerging mental health problem
has the potential to become a pandemic of modern era4.
Textaphrenia is considered to be a combination of
auditory hallucination and delusion where the affected
individual believes that he had heard a text message tone or
feel that his handset is vibrating with indication of an arrival
of a new text message, while in reality there is actually no
new message in the inbox of his mobile/smart phones.
This newly recognized mental health disorder is spreading
very quickly among teenagers who extensively use their
cellphones. People who suffer from Textaphrenia usually
present with the signs and symptoms of anxiety, anorexia,
insecurity, disappointment, depression, irritation, excessive
cellphone usage, low self-esteem, and repetitive thumb
syndrome5.
Though it is a newly emerging public health problem,
but only a few people are aware about the signs and
symptoms of Textaphrenia. Due to this reason, many people
are unaware that they might be actually suffering from it. The
screening criteria for Textaphrenia which can be used for
generation of awareness in public are as follows:6
If an individual has checked his mobile/smart
phones for text message at least 8 times in an hour without
receiving any real text message for at least on 2 successive
occasions during that hour, then he might be suffering from
Textaphrenia.
If an individual has kept his mobile/smart phones on
silent mode, but still claim to hear the tone of text messages
on 2 successive occasions during an hour, then he also might
be suffering from Textaphrenia.
Jennie Carroll had studied the effects of modern
communication among teenagers in Melbourne since 2001.
It was revealed that the mobile/smart phones usage for text
messaging had become an integral part of a teenagers' life.
This study identified four distinct text messaging related
disorders prevalent among the teenagers that are identified
as Textaphrenia, Textiety, Post-traumatic Text Disorder and
Binge Texting4.
A recent survey conducted on 150 youths aged between
18 and 25 years at the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Medical
College (MGMMC) of Indore, India revealed that majority of
the participants who had the habit of sending text messages
frequently, also had symptoms of depression and fear.5 A
significant proportion of females (47%) and males (39%)
accepted that their addiction to text messaging habit was
affecting their daily activities. Apart from this, 60% of the
respondents felt that the habit was even affecting their
studies. In this study, 40% of females and 45% of males
admitted that they did not get sound sleep due to their
addiction to texting messages7.
The evidences are suggestive that excessive use of
mobile/smart phones for text messaging can result in
developing psychological dependency and can affect the
activities of daily living. Hence, there is a need to study
the mobile/smart phones usage for text messaging more
systematically and in detail. It is also important to draw the
attention of every individual towards this newly emerging
public health problem and generate adequate awareness in
the community to prevent this condition.
References
1. Ogata Y, Izumi Y, Kitaike T. Mobile-phone e-mail use, social
Textaphrenia: An emerging silent pandemic
Rohit Kumar Verma1, Kingston Rajiah1, Alexius Cheang2, Ankur barua3
1Department of Pharmacy Practice, School of Pharmacy, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur-57000, Malaysia
2Department of Psychology, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur-57000, Malaysia
3Department of community medicine, International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur-57000, Malaysia
Correspondence
Rohit Kumar Verma
Department of Pharmacy Practice
School of Pharmacy, International Medical University
Malaysia
Email: rohitkumar_verma@imu.edu.my
Abstract
We read the article by Ramlall et al (2013) with great interest which presents one of the few studies conducted on African
population for prevalence of Dementia and Minimal Cognitive Deficits. The study brings to the fore some important data
regarding the prevalence of Minimal cognitive impairment (MCI) and dementia in the African population as well as their
socio-demographic profiles. Additionally the authors have also detailed the associated medical problems with these
disorders in the backdrop of the available literature. However, we would humbly like to point out an important lacuna in the
diagnostic evaluations used in the study which is common to earlier prevalence studies of dementia and MCI.
Keywords: Dementia; Lewy Body Disease; Minimal Cognitive Impairment
511
Afr J Psychiatry 2014;17:510-511
Letter to Editor | http://dx.doi.org/10.4172/1994-8220.1000e103
African Journal of Psychiatry • January 2014
networks, and loneliness among Japanese high school
students. (Nippon koshu eisei zasshi) Jap J Pub Heal 2006;
53: 480-92.
2. Kamibeppu K, Sugiura H. Impact of the mobile phones
on Junior High School Students’ Friendships in the Tokyo
Metropolitan Area. Cyberpsychol Behav 2005; 8:121-30.
3. Nehra R, Kate N, Grover S, Khehra N, Basu D. Does the
Excessive use of mobile phones in Young Adults Reflect an
Emerging Behavioral Addiction? J Postgrad Med Edu Res
2012; 46: 177-182.
4. Carroll J. Disorder link with teenage texting. Commission
on human rights international [serial online] 2010 June
[cited 2013 July 4]. [1 screen]. Available from: URL: http://
www.cchrint.org/tag/jennie-carroll/
5. The reporter. Textaphrenia & Textiety: Message conveys
disorder. The Times of India [serial online] 2010 July
[cited 2013 July 6]. [1 screen]. Available from: URL:
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2010-07-01/
science/28312062_1_text-messaging-post-traumatic-
disorder
6. Jha AN. Textaphrenia: Neo age texting disease. Inspire
to rise [serial online] 2012 March [cited 2013 June 8]. [4
screens]. Available from: URL: http://www.inspire2rise.
com/textaphrenia.html
7. The reporter: Press Trust of India (PTI). Texting can be
harmful: Study. The Times of India [serial online] 2011
June [cited 2013 June 2]. [1 screen]. Available from: URL:
http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-06-13/
computing/29652813_1_texting-short-message-service-
youths.
... Do objawów zalicza się zatem: • konieczność częstszego korzystania z telefonu komórkowego w celu osiągnięcia tego samego pożądanego efektu (tolerancja); • nieudane próby wyłączania lub rzadszego z niego korzystania (próby odstawienia); • używanie telefonu w momencie doświadczania niechcianych uczuć, takich jak lęk czy obniżony nastrój (ucieczka od problemów); in social, family, professional and financial areas); • sense of tension, anger and anxiety and low mood when the phone is out of reach or switched off (withdrawal symptoms) [15]. The literature includes the following most frequently mentioned physical and psychopathological consequences of excessive mobile phone use: stiffness and muscular pain including extraocular muscle pain [16], pain and weakening of the thumb and wrist [17], auditory and tactile hallucinations [18,19], anxiety and mood swings [20] and a rise in blood pressure [21]. Also included are specific behavioural disorder symptoms like sexting, which is the sending of erotic content text messages, as well as impulsive sending and requesting to receive pictures and recordings of a sexual character [22]. ...
... sen; • ryzyko utraty związku lub pracy z powodu korzystania z telefonu komórkowego (negatywne konsekwencje życiowe w obszarze społecznym, rodzinnym, zawodowym i finansowym); • odczuwanie napięcia, gniewu i niepokoju oraz obniżenie nastroju, gdy telefon jest poza zasięgiem lub wyłączony (objawy odstawienia) [15]. W literaturze do najczęściej wymienianych konsekwencji somatycznych i psychopatologicznych nadmiernego używania telefonu komórkowego należą: sztywność oraz bóle mięśniowe, w tym mięśni okoruchowych [16], ból i zmniejszenie siły kciuka i nadgarstka [17], halucynacje słuchowe i dotykowe [18,19], niepokój, labilność nastroju [20] oraz wzrost ciśnienia krwi [21]. Do tych objawów zalicza się także specyficzne zaburzenia zachowania, takie jak sexting, czyli wysyłanie SMS-ów o treści erotycznej oraz impulsywne wysyłanie i chęć otrzymywania zdjęć lub nagrań o charakterze seksualnym [22]. ...
... The number of mobile phones in 2018 was 2.53 billion and was expected to reach 2.87 billion by 2020. The rise in new pathologies such as Nomophobia "No-Mobile-Phobia" (Bychkov & Young, 2018), "Fear Of Missing Out" (FOMO) (Wolniewicz et al., 2018), Textiety, Textaphrenia (Verma et al., 2014), and Ringxiety (Kruger & Djerf, 2016) might be attributed to the exponential increase in smartphone usage. In addition to the increase in psychological problems, the increase in smartphone use might give rise to physical problems such as muscle pain and stiffness (Lee et al., 2015;So & Woo, 2014), ocular issues (Kim et al., 2016), auditory illusions (Tanis et al., 2015), and ergonomic issues related to wrists and thumbs (İNal et al., 2015;Xie et al., 2018) Problematic smartphone use has also led to other negative behavior patterns as well, such as the intentional use of smartphones in dangerous and/or prohibited situations. ...
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... Muscle pain, ocular afflictions resulting from Computer Vision Syndrome (e.g., fatigue, dryness, blurry vision, irritation, or ocular redness), and pain and weakness in the thumbs and wrists leading to an increased number of cases of de Quervain's tenosynovitis, are examples of physical signs [4,5]. Insomnia and sleep disturbances, anxiety and loneliness when unable to send a message or receive an immediate response and auditory and tactile illusions reflect common psychological/psychiatric symptoms of PSU/PIU [6][7][8]. ...
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... 7 In addition to behavioural and mental health issues, physical and psychological problems have reportedly resulted from cell-phone abuse, such as rigidity in spine and muscle pain, ocular afflictions reflected in fatigue, dryness, blurry vision, irritation, or ocular redness, auditory and tactile illusions -the sensation of having heard a ring or felt a vibration of a cell phone, and pain and weakness in the thumbs and wrists leading to an increa se d nu mbe r of cases of de Q u er va in's tenosynovitis. [8][9][10][11][12] Therefore, the need of time is to counter these effects, as they have become part of our daily lifestyle. Educating ourselves in doing so and accepting the problem in hand, is only the beginning of solving and finding workable solutions. ...
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Background and objective Mobile phones have become an essential part and parcel of modern life. Some of the studies have shown potentially adverse consequences of excessive mobile phone use. Aim of this study was to explore the pattern of mobile phone use among young adults and evaluate the mobile phone use pattern on the substance dependence criteria and assess the adverse consequences of mobile phone use. Materials and methods A 46-item questionnaire based on the ICD-10 substance dependence syndrome criteria, CAGE questionnaire and keeping the possible adverse consequences of excessive use in mind was given to the participants. Results A total of 212 young adults with a mean age of 21.6 years participated in the study. About one-third of the participants met three or more of the ICD-10 diagnostic criteria for substance dependence and more than half (57.1%) fulfilled two or more items on the CAGE questionnaire. Those who fulfilled the dependence criteria spent more time per day on the mobile phone and more frequently had harmful consequences on various aspects of life. Conclusion Excessive mobile phone use is associated with adverse consequences in different spheres of life and some subjects use it in dependent pattern. How to cite this article Nehra R, Kate N, Grover S, Khehra N, Basu D. Does the Excessive use of Mobile Phones in Young Adults Reflect an Emerging Behavioral Addiction? J Postgrad Med Edu Res 2012;46(4):177-182.
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The purposes of this study were to assess the loneliness of Japanese high school students who own and use a mobile phone, to clarify the relationships between students' loneliness and their social network and frequency of use of e-mail feature, and to demonstrate relationships with a student's social network and recognition of the benefits and drawbacks of mobile phone use. The participants were 227 students from two classes in each grade of a high school in the Kanto region of Japan. Participants answered a questionnaire covering the UCLA Loneliness Scale as well as questions pertaining to the circumstances of use of their mobile phones, their social networks (e.g., number of friends), and their perceptions of the benefits and drawbacks of mobile phone use. The questionnaires of students owning a mobile phone were analyzed. Total scores for the UCLA Loneliness Scale were calculated, and factor analysis was performed for the benefits and drawbacks. A total of 220 questionnaires were returned, for which 94.1 percent of respondents owned a mobile phone. The percentages of male and female respondents were 58% and 42%. Chronbach's alpha for the UCLA Loneliness Scale (total score) was 0.87, a result similar to previous studies with high school and university students. Factor analysis revealed five factors associated with the benefits and drawbacks of mobile phone use. Multiple-regression analysis showed that 42.9% of the variance in "frequency of e-mail use" was explained by grade level, frequency of mobile phone use, and two of the five factors from the benefits and drawbacks ("difficulty of communication," and "possible sleep loss due to nighttime e-mailing"). Stepwise multiple-regression analysis revealed that 24.4% of the variance in UCLA Loneliness Score was explained by gender, the frequency of e-mail use, the number of friends and the presence/absence of a girlfriend or boyfriend. Presence of an active social network and frequent e-mailing by mobile phone reduced students' loneliness. The frequency depended on their recognition of the benefits and drawbacks of mobile phone use and by the frequency of mobile phone use. This study established that students appreciate the usefulness of their mobile phone as an immediate communication tool, and are aware of its limitations. Although they experience frustration and lack of sleep (because of nighttime use), students use mobile phones to deepen their friendships.
Mobile-phone e-mail use, social Textaphrenia: An emerging silent pandemic
  • Y Ogata
  • Y Izumi
  • T Kitaike
Ogata Y, Izumi Y, Kitaike T. Mobile-phone e-mail use, social Textaphrenia: An emerging silent pandemic
Disorder link with teenage texting. Commission on human rights international
  • J Carroll
Carroll J. Disorder link with teenage texting. Commission on human rights international [serial online] 2010
Textaphrenia: Neo age texting disease
  • A N Jha
Jha AN. Textaphrenia: Neo age texting disease. Inspire to rise [serial online] 2012 March [cited 2013 June 8]. [4 screens]. Available from: URL: http://www.inspire2rise. com/textaphrenia.html