Technophobia is the extreme and irrational fear of technology. This phobia relates especially to an unreasonable fear of computers. While one might expect certain people, especially the elderly, to be resistant to technology, people with technophobia are averse to technology to a point at which the disorder hinders the normal operation of their lives.

Technophobes avoid everyday devices such as ATM machines and computers, specifically fearing the outcome of having used them. A person with this disorder may believe that an ATM machine will register a wrong deposit or withdrawal, or that using a computer will somehow result in identity theft. Some people with technophobia may even resist certain medical treatments that involve technological devices.

Symptoms of Technophobes

If a person exhibits the following symptoms in response to the use of technology on them or for them, they may be techno phobic. Some of these symptoms are:

  • Feelings of dread or panic
  • Automatic or uncontrollable reactions
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trembling
  • Extreme avoidance

Causes of Technophobes

Like other phobias, there is no universally specific cause of technophobia. Rather, unique and specific troubling instances from someone’s past are usually to blame for such disorders. In regards to technophobia, some of these instances could include identity theft or losing a job to a technological advancement. Thus, the emotional damage that caused the phobia is the most damaging factor rather than the way the fear manifests itself. If left untreated, technophobia can range from a simple annoyance to a serious hindrance.

Treatment of Technophobes

Like many phobias, treatment for the disorder is usually best left to a mental health practitioner. The goal of any such expert is to first target the initial inciting factor that caused the person’s irrational and extreme fear. The patient and therapist talk about why the fear is unfounded, how they can come to terms with any traumatic experiences that caused the phobia, as well as ways to deal with the symptoms of the condition. This type of therapy is usually very effective, with a vast majority of patients completely overcoming or successfully coping with technophobia symptom-free for years, if not for the remainder of their lives.

Some therapists opt to use cognitive behavioral therapy. With this type of treatment the patient meets with the therapist and in a systematic and gradual progression confronts the source of fear while learning to control the physical and mental reactions to it. By facing the phobia head on, the patient becomes accustomed to it and thus ultimately realizes that his or her initial fears were not grounded in real or imminent danger.

If you are searching for help with technophobia, finding it is quite easy. There are plenty of therapists and peer groups willing to help not only with the disorder but also the psychological difficulties attendant with it. If self-help is not working, do not hesitate to reach out to these resources for support.

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