Think of a warm fire on a cold night. This is a very primitive pleasure that most of us can associate with warmth, happiness and safety. However, for some people, the feeling of heat can be incredibly frightening and be a source of extreme anxiety. Thermophobia is an extreme sensitivity to heat, and although commonly misconstrued, this condition is not limited to specifically hot weather. Hot food, water or nearly any heat source can be a cause for panic or anxiety in a thermaphobic person.

Causes of Thermophobia

Usually, a person suffering with thermophobia has experienced a traumatic event in their lifetime that is strongly associated with a burn, heat or fire. This event is usually experienced in childhood and slowly builds up throughout a lifetime and continues into adulthood. Hot items will then trigger a reactive response in the person, forcing them to relive the traumatic event and become increasingly more avoidant of these items. In extremely severe cases, a thermaphobic person may even move to a cold climate just to avoid hot weather or inclement surroundings. Clearly, thermophobia can develop into a reasonably serious disorder that can force you to change aspects of your life that you may not be comfortable with.

Treatments of Thermophobia

There are several common ways in which thermophobia can be treated. If untreated, thermophobia will begin to strongly interfere with your personal life and may eventually limit your daily routine. While both professional and self-help methods are viable options to help treat the condition, it is important to do outside research and find which method would be suited for your lifestyle and provide the most effective treatment. Common treatment options include:

  • Exposure Therapy: A person is slowly introduced to their fears and forced to interact with them until the fear becomes irrelevant and the patient is desensitized.
  • Traditional Therapy: This will help a person speak openly about their phobia to identify the root of the problem.
  • Self Help: Muscle relaxation or breathing techniques can be taught and implemented during stressful situations to relieve anxiety and avoid panic attacks.
  • Medication: Usually only used in severe cases, as anti-anxiety medications commonly carry addictive properties and side effects of their own.

If an extreme, irrational fear of heat is holding you back and you are motivated to find a change, there are several treatment options available for you. Many treatment methods, including the ones listed above, have had proven success in treating thermophobia and creating useful coping strategies to better handle stressful situations. Do some research to find the best options available to you and take your life back from thermophobia before symptoms worsen or become unmanageable.

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