Traumatophobia

Traumatophobia is a severe and irrational fear of injury. While it is normal for anyone to fear injury when getting into situations in which there may be rough physical contact with other people, or which may simply have some degree of physical threat, the traumatophobic fears injury to such a degree that he or she loses the ability to lead a normally functioning life.

A person with this disorder sees danger and the prospect of injury even in activities where there may be no imminent danger at all. Some of these activities could include running, swimming, riding a bicycle or playing tennis. The traumatophobic will find reason to believe these activities are likely to result in injury. In severe cases, some traumatophobics may be too afraid to leave their homes due to their belief that danger awaits them outside.

Symptoms of Traumatophobia

When trying to identify traumatophobia, here are some signs and symptoms to look for:

  • Feelings of dread or panic in situations irrationally seen as those likely to cause harm
  • Automatic or uncontrollable reactions to these situations or activities
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Shortness of breath
  • Trembling
  • Extreme avoidance

Causes of Traumatophobia

Like all phobias, there is no universal explanation for its development. Rather, various unique and specific factors and experiences are to blame. In regards to traumatophobia, some of these could include previous traumatic accidents, parents that instilled a deep fear of injury during upbringing, or even other psychological disorders. Regardless, if left untreated, traumatophobia can only worsen and drive the sufferer deeper into fear. This is why the reasons for the development of the phobia are so much more important in treatment than simply addressing the symptoms.

Treatment of Traumatophobia

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 traumatophobia 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 traumatophobia, 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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