The Fear of Flutes, or Aulophobia, Is Rare but Real
The flute is a popular woodwind instrument that can produce airy and whimsical melodies. With its clear and almost ethereal sound, this instrument is often associated with magical creatures and out-of-this-world wonders. However, not everyone is enthralled by this musical instrument and its sound because some suffer from aulophobia, or the fear of flutes.
Let’s learn more about this rare and potentially paralyzing fear.
The Fear of Flutes
When a person has aulophobia, they will have varying levels of anxiety, distress, and fear whenever they hear anything flute-related. This phobia can have different levels of intensity. Some may have episodes of panic attacks at the mere sight of the musical instrument or get anxious when they hear it being played.
The word “aulophobia” has a Greek origin. The term aulos means “pipe or tube” and refers to any musical instrument that bears the same shape as a flute. Meanwhile, phobia means “fear.”
Symptoms of Aulophobia
Aulophobia differs from person to person. The symptoms and severity vary as well. The duration of symptoms is also unique for each person. When you hear a flute being played, you may start sweating and become nauseous, but you may feel better after walking away from the music. Another might take longer to recover.
If you have aulophobia, you may experience one or a combination of these symptoms classified as physical and mental/emotional symptoms. As the name suggests, physical symptoms are those that your body feels and experiences, while mental and emotional symptoms refer to how you react after being subjected to the object of your fear. Usually, mental and emotional symptoms are rooted in your mind, but they manifest in your outward behavior.
- Excessive sweating
- Increase in blood pressure
- Upset stomach
- Fear that something terrible is about to happen
- Irrational conclusions and assumptions
- Mood swings
- Unexplained dread and morbid thoughts
- Withdrawal from society
Causes of Aulophobia
It’s impossible to pin down one specific cause of aulophobia. A combination of several factors can contribute to why someone is scared and anxious about anything flute-related. Nonetheless, here are the most probable reasons why someone may have aulophobia.
#1. A Specific Triggering Event in the Past
It’s difficult to imagine a traumatic experience with a flute, but it does happen. During your childhood, you might have witnessed someone having an unpleasant experience with a flute. You may have even endured it yourself. Such encounters can have lingering negative effects.
#2. Your Family Background
Unfortunately, mental illnesses can be inherited. If you have any family members who were diagnosed with anxiety, depression, panic, or personality disorders, there’s a possibility that you may develop a mental health issue too since you share the same DNA. Additionally, if any of your family members suffer from melophobia, or the fear of music, this can branch out to other related phobias, including aulophobia and a phobia of musical instruments.
Isn’t it time to start enjoying music again even if it comes from a flute? In your mind, you know that the actual instrument is harmless, much more so the sound it produces. If you’re being honest with yourself, you understand there’s nothing to fear.
But be kind to yourself and acknowledge that your fear doesn’t make you less of a person. When you’re ready, decide that it’s something you want to manage and overcome. Don’t worry. You’re not alone and help is available. You can get the guidance and expertise of professionals and even perform some routines at home to help you on your journey.
Here are examples of some self-help options you can adopt.
#1. Understand Your Triggers and Pinpoint the Possible Cause
Knowing the root cause of your aulophobia can be challenging, especially if you believe that it has always been part of you. Try to recall incidents in your childhood that might have caused you to be afraid of the flute and the sound it emits. Once you’ve identified your triggers, continue your journey of self-discovery by taking note of the thoughts that go through your mind, what you feel, and how you react when there’s a flute nearby.
At this point, it’s good to have a journal where you can document your thoughts, questions, and everything that comes to mind related to your phobia. This can help you fully assess where you stand when it comes to your phobia and offer you a better understanding of it.
#2. Teach Yourself New Skills in Breathing and Meditation
One way to control your phobia is to have a stronger mind. This means not allowing your fear to get the best of you. You can accomplish this by calming your mind and learning how to let go of negative energy.
Learning breathing exercises, meditation, and yoga will not only make your mind stronger, but also positively impact your body.
#3. Be Your Own Cheerleader
Everyone has their fears. For you, it just happens to be the flute. This doesn’t mean that you’re irrelevant and weak. Each day, wake up with positivity and remind yourself that you are strong enough and loved. Tell yourself that you deserve everything the world can offer, including enjoying the beautiful music that the flute provides.
#1. Try Energy Psychology
You can also consult a mental healthcare professional who can refer you to someone who practices energy psychology. This methodology can be powerful given that it utilizes techniques such as acupressure, tai chi, qi gong, yoga, prana, and energy medicine. It works by stimulating your energy points to help your brain shift its electrochemistry. This technique is best paired with other psychological procedures to modify your overall mindset.
#2. Consult a Therapist, Psychologist, or Psychiatrist
Another option is to look for a mental healthcare professional who specializes in phobias. Whether they use cognitive behavioral therapy or exposure therapy, professional help can help you holistically address and overcome your fear.
Living with Aulophobia
Living with aulophobia, especially if it is severe, can prevent you from experiencing a full and happy life. Your condition may reach an point where even if you don’t encounter anything flute-related, the idea of possibly coming upon one instills a constant feeling of dread.
If you’re suffering from aulophobia, don’t be afraid or ashamed to seek help for it. Learning about your fear through articles like this is a great first step. Getting the guidance you need is the next.
Whenever you’re in doubt, remember what writer Judy Blume said, “Each of us must confront our own fears, must come face to face with them. How we handle our fears will determine where we go with the rest of our lives. To experience adventure or to be limited by the fear of it.”
Live a life free from your phobia even if you have to fight for it one small step at a time.