Excessive texting may be sign of mental illness

March 27, 2008 9:46:26 AM PDT
If you can't stop texting or sending e-mails, you may have a mental illness.

Nikki Brown has a problem -- she cannot keep her hands off her phone.

"I text morning, noon and night, and it adds up to about 3,000-to-5,000 a month," said Brown.

Her habit is so bad that some psychiatrists are diagnosing obsessive texting as a mental illness. According to an article in the American Journal of Psychiatry, if you text too much during the day you probably have a problem.

"People can get really addicted to it because you can get away with it when you are not supposed to be. It is a lot more incognito than talking on the phone, and you can be in a meeting or in school," said texter Brooke Smith.

Experts say that there are four distinct symptoms to diagnosing texting as a mental illness:

  1. Excessive use. That means neglecting your day to day activities.
  2. Withdrawal and feeling depressed when your cell phone is not accessible.
  3. Tolerance or overtexting.
  4. Negative repercussions including social isolation.

Still, with texting now becoming a popular way to communicate, some say, whether it is a mental illness or not, it will take a lot more than a study to get people to put down their phones.


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