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CBT

Some of us can live freely without worrying about the location of our mobile phones, and others can't.

Many of us know the sensation of an empty pocket leading to the terrifying feeling of loss when you can't find your phone, many of us don't. 

For certain people, the thought of not knowing where your phone is or not having it on your person at all times can cause genuine fear and anxiety. The scientific word for this is nomophobia.

If you get the feeling of ice cold dread just imagining the absence of your phone, you may be experiencing this 21st century phobia.

The phrase is an abbreviation for ‘no-mobile-phone phobia’, coined back in 2008 during a study of anxieties experienced by mobile phone users by the Post Office (random?).

Bear in mind that this study is now 11-years-old, but it discovered that 53 percent of phone users in the UK are anxious when they "lose their mobile phone, run out of battery, or have no network coverage".

The phobia is set to be among the largest non-drug addictions of this century, which is staggering.

We can now seemingly carry our entire lives with us in our pocket, whether it's for work, research, medical, business, pleasure, friendship, shopping, maps or just general communication.

While this is incredible advancement, it also means that we've grown to rely on the devices, to the point where some of us even feel chained to them.

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More recently, a 2017 YouGov study revealing that 38 percent of teenagers felt they couldn’t last a single day without their smartphone on them.

Nomophobia isn’t currently in the edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but has been proposed as a ‘specific phobia’. It's essentially synonymous with smartphone addiction.

The symptoms of nomophobia are similar to that of other addictions, from dependency to a growing panic psychologically when you're without it for too long, sweating, shaking and heart palpitations.

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Addictive behaviour can take it's toll when it comes to emotional and psychological ramifications; low self-esteem, constantly seeking reassurance from phones with social media engagement and a low sense of self-worth.

Treatments include EMDR and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), and more scientifically-backed options. Professional help is out there when it comes to nomophobia, believe it or not.

Set yourself small goals, like leaving your phone farther away in terms of proximity and for longer periods. Try giving it to somebody to take care of, a trusted friend or family member.

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Log out of social media apps, or even just turn the notifications off. Silence is key, but it's important for you to realise that social media silence doesn't mean loneliness and isolation. 

Aim for more human connection, and give yourself breaks from technology by going on walks with friends or going for dinner with family. It's all about reliance and feeling okay with being totally alone.

Hypnotherapy is also becoming an increasingly common way to treat addiction, and acupuncture. Nomophobia is a totally irrational fear, seeing as we've survived without phones before and can do it again.

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Chronic insomnia is a condition that affects millions of people all over the world, where individuals find it difficult or impossible to sleep.

The NHS Inform defines insomnia as a challenge to stay asleep “for long enough to feel refreshed the next morning." While it's treatable and can be targeted in a variety of ways, it can be hugely debilitating for those who suffer with it.

Changing your sleep habits, diagnosing underlying issues like mental or physical health condition or using over-the-counter sleeping medication can combat insomnia, but therapy can also help, according to a new study.

A recent study published in the British Journal of General Practice has found that therapy may actually be the best choice of treatment.

Researchers at Queen's University Ontario, Canada, found that Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps to fight chronic insomnia successfully, despite the fact that it's often used to combat mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

CBT can apparently be used to change the way your mind thinks about sleep. It's regularly offered through a therapist with "the number of sessions you need depending on the difficulty you need help with.”

The British Association for Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapies describes CBT as therapy which is “based on the theory that thoughts, feelings, and what we do and how our body feels are all connected.”

The Guardian reports that the study was conducted through “four randomised control trials, with between 66 and 201 participants of mixed ages.”

Researchers from the trials found “that participants fell asleep on average nine to 30 minutes sooner after completing a course of CBT for insomnia and experienced a reduction of between 22 and 36 minutes in the amount of time spent awake after going to sleep.”

In the study, data analysts found that those who received CBT treatment for between four to six sessions found improvement with their insomnia and that these improvements “were generally well maintained for 3-12 months post-treatment.”

This was compared to the results of those who received treatment “in which the format or content veered substantially from conventional CBT which were less conclusive.”

With blue light from laptop and phone screens increasingly causing sleep disruption, and considering how hard it is to switch our brains off from the hectic attention-grabbing modern lifestyle, CBT therapy sounds great to us.

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Most people are aware of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy as a common tool for dealing with anxiety and depression.

However, a recent study of 33, 243 patients across 103 IAPT (Improving Access to Psychological Therapies) services in England found that counselling can be just as effective for patients suffering from depression. 

According to psychologyservice.co.uk, counselling involves supporting the patient in talking about their problems and issues and allowing them to come to their own conclusions about the best way to deal with them.

CBT is described as a more direct approach, it involves the practitioner helping the patient to identify unhelpful thinking patterns and behaviour. The patient often does their own work in between sessions to address their problems in a practical way.

The study, which was published in the journal of BMC Psychiatry, found that patients were attending fewer counselling sessions than CBT sessions, however, it showed that two sessions of counselling had a significantly better outcome than two sessions of CBT.

Counselling is often only recommended for patients when other methods have been tried and failed.

Researchers asserted that “it is apparent from the findings presented here that counselling is not inferior to CBT and there would seem little, if any, rationale for committing public money to fund superiority trials of CBT in the field of depression.”

It seems that talking really can be one of the most effective tools when dealing with personal issues.

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