Brushing Off Amathophobia – The Fear of Dust
Do dust bunnies creep you out or disgust you?
Do you spend most of your time cleaning or dusting throughout the day to reduce your stress or anxiety due to the fear of dust?
You are not alone; more than 9% of Americans have some or the other phobia that ranges from mild to severe.
Amathophobia or the fear of dust is treatable. So if you are trying to get rid of this dust phobia, you should start by understanding how you developed this phobia. They say once you get to the root, you will get the solution. Understand the cause, and try self-help methods and professional treatment, if required.
Amathophobia Causes – What Causes The Fear Of Dust?
Just like other phobias, Amathophobia does not have any common cause. Although, according to some scientists, your genetics and environment play a significant role in developing phobias most of the time. A family history of anxiety, disorders, and phobias may increase the chances of an offspring with similar issues.
Other causes of this fear may be a past incident where you had a bad experience with dust or witnessed someone else suffering due to it. It may also stem from another mental illness such as GAD or OCD. If you have been diagnosed with GAD or OCD, your fear of dust can just be an extension of this.
Some Things You Need to Know About Amathophobia
Sometimes, people get confused between fear and disgust. While fear usually represents an imminent threat to survival, disgust is primarily characteristic of contamination and represents a possible threat to survival. If just the discussion around some topic or a particular object, in this case, dust, causes you to have an anxiety attack, it may be a full-blown phobia.
Amathophobia can also arise from learned behaviors. You may have lived in an area full of dust or a filthy house in your childhood and have already experienced the trouble and problems it causes. Those individuals who suffer from this phobia may constantly clean their homes or tables or anything else they can lay their eyes on.
Amathophobia can create an extreme environment around you. It may even prevent you from leaving your house since you will find dust almost everywhere. In addition, these unwanted thoughts and fears can lead you to have OCD in the future.
If you have already done your research, you may have found that almost all fears share many common symptoms making it really difficult to diagnose the phobia in the first place, let alone get treatment for that fear.
While people with mild fear or phobias can lead a healthy, normal life, being aware of the symptoms will help you get yourself diagnosed as early as possible so the phobia does not worsen.
Amathophobia can cause the following physical symptoms:
● Difficulty breathing
● Dry mouth
● A choking sensation
● Tightness in the chest
● Feeling like you will faint
● A rise in blood pressure
Amathophobia can cause the following psychological symptoms:
● Anxiety attacks
● Fear of losing control
● Anger, mood swings
You are likely to not be able to step outside or always try to cover your mouth whenever outside.
A person with Amathophobia can show some of the symptoms listed above or most of them at once depending on how severe the phobia is.
When Should You Seek Treatment For Amathophobia?
Despite this fear, many people are able to live their lives as normal, while others will struggle to have one peaceful day without worrying about it. But if you notice that your phobia is getting worse day by day and none of the self-help techniques are helping you, you should seek treatment.
When should a person seek treatment?
● You are not able to lead a normal life due to this phobia
● Your symptoms are getting worse every day
● You are struggling to cope with your phobia
Amathophobia Treatment Options
Due to the private nature of this phobia, it is really hard to determine how many people may have this phobia. However, severe phobias around dust extend beyond dust itself and may include other objects.
Dust often does not harm a person, so the fear is more often associated with dirt or fine particles. The constant need to clean places could be a symptom of Amathophobia, but most people suffering from this will have no problem with invisible dirt.
Constantly trying to cope with something that is present almost everywhere can be an exhausting and terrifying experience. But remember that no phobia is so bizarre that you will not find help. You may not need a professional if the fear is mild and you are able to cope with it, but if it is getting worse every day, you should definitely seek help.
Before getting professional help, you should always try to get your situation under control by dealing with it yourself first. You can start by convincing yourself that the fear is irrational and not something that can harm you. By reassuring yourself with this, you can get a bit comfortable with thinking or talking about your fear.
Try to share what you feel with others to help you understand what circumstances or situations lead to your anxiety. Also, try focusing on replacing negative thoughts with positive ones.
Your life will be much better if you learn how to calm yourself down in stressful situations. You can control your feelings and train your mind not to dwell on your fears through meditation. If your phobia stems from some past event, meditation can help you live in the now rather than getting too caught up in the past.
Additional Self-Help Tips
● Start sharing your fears with your loved ones
● Become aware of your feelings
● Partner up
● Practice breathing techniques
During this therapy, as its name implies, the therapist will gradually expose you to the object of your fears over a period of time.
Cognitive Therapy is based on the concept that the way we think about certain things will affect how we feel about that thing. By learning how to look at your fear from a different perspective, you will be able to deal with your fear when you actually experience it.
Learning to Cope with Amathophobia
The Amathophobia treatments which exist today don’t guarantee that you will be able to get rid of your phobia; they simply teach you how to cope and how to take control of your feelings and fears.
Getting along with your fear will allow you to lead a normal, healthy life without having to worry about it much.
You can take control of your life by learning to manage the fear of dust and lead a normal life. While directly exposing yourself to your fear is not ideal, as it may ignite a full-blown panic attack, you can gradually start understanding what you feel about your fear and create some positive beliefs.