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Neophobia

Also known as: Cainophobia, Cainotophobia, Cenophobia, Centophobia, Kainolophobia, Kainophobia

Many people in the world are afraid of trying new things. Humans are typically creatures of habit after all, but for some people, taking any risk with new things is out of the question. Someone who experiences neophobia has an abnormally persistent fear of new things, people, places and ideas. Neophobia is known by many different names including cainophobia, cainotophobia, cenophobia, centophobia, kainolophobia and kainophobia.

Symptoms of Neophobia

Much like an anxiety attack, symptoms of neophobia include:

  • Panic attack
  • Shortness of breath
  • Dizziness
  • Trembling
  • Sweating
  • Accelerated heart rate
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea

Signs of a neophobic episode can happen in a variety of ways that are not always obvious. When avoiding new things becomes unmanageable, it is time to seek professional help. Some signs to look for are: negative physical symptoms from exposure to new things or the idea of new things; realization that neophobia is causing one to miss good opportunities; ignoring certain situations, places or things in order to avoid being exposed to novelties; or neophobia has persisted over a significant length of time and is affecting one’s health, mood or livelihood.

Common Facts About Neophobia

The fear of trying new things is often associated with food. This is especially the case with very young children. However, as people get older, their tastes begin to change and a mild case of neophobia might completely disappear. There is no one cause for neophobias; a child could have become sick because of a certain food or for an unapparent reason. Some people can get over certain phobias easily, but for those who fear new things, it could be a great hindrance on their lives.

Treatment of Neophobia

Neophobia should not be taken lightly, but one should also realize that it can in fact be over come. Treatments for neophobia include cognitive-behavioral therapy (exposure therapy) and medications to treat the worst of the phobia symptoms such as panic attack and migraines. Using exposure therapy would slowly introduce someone to ways of controlling their phobia first in the mind and then in real life situations. Over short or long periods of time, depending on the severity of the case, therapy can help people let new things into their lives and let the fear out.

Persons who are afraid of trying new things should also learn self-help methods to deal with the worst of the symptoms. Getting information about neophobia is only the first step in overcoming the fear. Learning to keep negative thoughts at bay is also helpful as well as finding an appropriate support group. Lastly, practicing relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, yoga and muscle relaxation can help you deal with the emotional and physical symptoms of a severe phobia.

Neophobia treatment professionals can help people to stop being afraid to live their lives to the fullest. Getting informed is the first step, and next it is important to find a professional who knows how to lead you down the path of recovery.

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