Think back to the last time you “heard” a phantom call. Chances are you felt a little crazy afterward.

The phone is ringing. You’re sure of it! Naturally, you reach for it, but when you do, a notification-free home screen leaves you completely perplexed. There’s no alert of a missed call. There’s no voicemail.Weird.If anyone else is nearby, you quickly turn to them for confirmation that you’re not losing your mind. They heard it too, right? Wrong. 

There’s actually a name for this odd occurrence.

If this happens to you far more often than you’d like to admit, you may be suffering from ringxiety. (Yes, that’s a real term and condition.) According to a new study published in the journal “Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking,” ringxiety stems from life’s worries and stresses, particularly affecting people who are dealing with problematic personal relationships.Ringxiety is naturally more severe for those who struggle with insecurity issues or attachment anxiety. Text messages and phone calls are a source of comfort for people who fear abandonment, and these forms of communication provide the reassurance of reciprocation. Unfortunately, a regular need for that reassurance is what makes ringxiety a condition that should not be ignored.   

If the problem is not addressed, ringxiety can begin to negatively affect your quality of life.

Brenda K. Wiederhold, editor-in-chief of “Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking,” explained why it’s absolutely vital not to trivialize ringxiety.”There is a growing awareness that ringxiety may result in both immediate and long-term negative health effects, including headaches, stress, and sleep disturbance,” Wiederhold said.It’s certainly time we re-examine our perceptions of our phones. They’re intended to make our lives easier, not harder!