Agyrophobia

Agyrophobia is the extreme and irrational fear that crossing a road or intersection will result in bodily harm to oneself. This phobia can be spurred by a wide variety of specific traumatic events or mental disorders. Unlike those with a normal sense of danger and fear, agyrophobics find reason to be terrified of roads and avoid them vehemently to a point that the disorder hinders their ability to accomplish normal, everyday activities. These activities could include going to the grocery store, walking through a parking lot, or even going on a vacation in which there will be a significant amount of walking. Despite cues that should objectively assure the agyrophobic of his or her safety near a road or intersection, there is still an uncontrollable aversion to such an environment and is therefore thought to be completely independent of a phobia of cars.

Symptoms of Agyrophobia

Identifying agyrophobia should be quite easy, as identification of most phobias is accomplished by looking for similar reactions to the irrational source of fear. If the person who possibly has the disorder finds being in the presence of roads to be unbearable, he or she possibly has agyrophobia. A definitive diagnosis, however, is best left to a mental health professional. The most common symptoms to look for in someone with agyrophobia include:

  • Feelings of dread or panic when presented with the prospect of nearing or crossing a road or intersection
  • Automatic or uncontrollable reactions to their fear
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trembling
  • Extreme avoidance of situations that involve roads

Treatment of Agyrophobia

Agryophobia is most often curable when the phobic elicits the help of a licensed mental health professional. The goal of a mental health expert should be to find the root of the phobia by identifying the cause of the person’s extreme and irrational fear. The patient and therapist will discuss why the fear is unfounded, how they can come to terms with any traumatic experiences that caused the phobia, and possible ways to deal with the symptoms of the condition. This type of psychotherapy generally has a very high success rate, with the vast majority of patients completely overcoming or successfully coping with agyrophobia symptom-free for years, if not for the rest of their lives.

Other methods of psychotherapy include exposure therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. This type of treatment involves meetings between the patient and therapist in which the patient is systematically and gradually exposed to the source of fear while learning to control and rationalize their physical and mental reactions to it. By facing agyrophobia head on, the patient becomes accustomed to it and is able to realize that his or her initial fears were not grounded in real or imminent danger.

If you are searching for help with agyrophobia, finding it is easier than you think. There are countless therapists and peer groups willing to help not only with overcoming the disorder but also its attendant psychological difficulties. Do not let agyrophobia stifle your life and constantly give you something to fear. Do not hesitate to reach out for support.

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