Phone-Obsessed? Tap Away Now: WhatsAppitis Is Now An Actual Medical Condition

A Spanish woman is the first case of this ultra-contemporary condition...


by Sophie Wilkinson |
Published on

The single ones of us out there will know the pain of hours spent swiping approval/disapproval on Tinder. And the ones of us lucky enough to be dating will recognise those twitches in their digits after epic text sessions. And the ones of us in relationships? Well, that lot have their own ways of developing RSI. But we all need to be wary of how much we're using our phones to tap, tap, tap away, as a woman has been diagnosed with 'WhatsAppitis'.

Seriously, a Spanish doctor wrote in to medical journal The Lancet to explain that he had just diagnosed a woman with WhatsAppitis after she was found to be suffering injuries after an over-use of the instant messaging service. Inés Fernandez-Guerrero, from Granda's General University hospital, said the patient, a 34-year-old pregnant woman: 'had no history of trauma and had not engaged in any excessive physical activity in previous days.'

The patient had been working on Christmas Eve and the next day - Christmas Day - she spent a good six hours responding to all of the messages that had been sent to her. Spending a whopping six hours on her mobile - on Christmas Day, of all days!* - she "made continuous movements with both thumbs to send messages" causing her to get an injury, which the doctor ruled out as carpel tunnel syndrome.

The treatment for WhatsAppitis is, according to Dr. Fernandez-Guerrero is ‘complete abstinence from using the phone to send messages,’ and, according to The Guardian, it follows in the footsteps (or thumb-taps) of Nintendinitis, a condition founded in the 90’s, where avid Nintendo players got injuries such as thumb-swelling, pain and difficulty moving particular joints associated with playing too much on the games console.

*We double-checked to see whether Spainiards do Christmas on Christmas Day and yes, they do. On a further side note, in Catalonia, they celebrate by keeping a red-cloth covered log in the house from the 8th December, ‘Then, on Christmas Day, children have fun hitting the log with a stick whilst singing a traditional song.’ We wonder how many injuries that one causes...

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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