Do you have ‘Ringxiety’

Often when journalist Vinay Shah is taking a shower, he thinks he can hear his mobile ringing. On rushing out to answer the call, he finds the phone hadn’t rung. Likewise, he frequently checks his mobile looking for a non-existent SMS beep.

Shah (name changed) is among the rapidly growing number of Indians suffering from what psychiatrists are calling ‘Ringxiety’ — a phenomenon in which users imagine their phone ringing or feel it vibrate when it actually doesn’t.

Heavy cellphone users hear this phantom ring more often than those using the phone in moderation. India is home to over 200 million mobile phone users with six million being added to the list each month.

Though no comprehensive study has been done in the country on the prevalence of ringxiety, doctors say at least 25% of all mobile phone users may be hearing false rings.

Dr Jitender Nagpal, senior psychiatrist at Vimhans, told TOI that ringxiety is becoming common in India. He estimates a three-fold increase in the number of cases of behavioural changes caused by excessive mobile phone use in the past six years or so.

Cellphones are adding to the rising stress levels in urban India, he says. “Frequent mobile users are always anxious. They are on tenterhooks, waiting for the phone to ring, trying to reduce the wait and response period. This also leads to frequent mood changes, irritability and stress. Altered behaviour is common in such cases.”

Source: Times of India

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