The Golden Rule: Aurophobia, a Serious Phobia
While everyone loves the sparkle and many uses of gold, a few people cringe at the sight of it. Does gold make you shiver, but not in a good way?
Do you turn away when you notice the cups in a café have gold rim designs? Does the golden-hued cutlery prevent you from eating?
As the anxiety starts to kick in, are you breathless and unable to think straight? Maybe a nice meal out becomes a nightmare. Sure, other people may be blinded by gold, but you become immobile not because of awe but rather by the cold sweat enveloping your body.
Those who fear anything gold can have a hard time understanding themselves, and those around them might have trouble understanding what’s happening as well. It’s difficult to explain why the sight of a gold ring or a neck with gold chains can send you into a frenzy.
But your fear is valid, and the good news is that you are not alone.
Aurophobia is a fear of gold. This irrational fear causes you to feel anxious at the mention of gold, at seeing gold things, touching gold things, or simply being in the presence of anything gold.
Aurophobia is not just the fear of gold objects like a necklace or statue but also the fear of what gold represents, like power, success, wealth, or position.
When a person has aurophobia, they tend to avoid people wearing gold jewelry, distance themselves from places that might have gold, and even stop whatever they’re doing when they spot something gold near them.
Many people won’t understand this irrational fear because gold, for most, is inviting and desirable. But people with aurophobia miss plenty of experiences because of the presence or sight of a gold watch, a gold ring, or a harmless gold-plated statue. Aurophobia can negatively impact relationships and quality of life in general.
So, why are people scared of gold? There is no definitive cause for this phobia. Though, like other fears, this phobia may be influenced by genetics and the environment.
For instance, if someone in the family has a history of anxiety disorders, mental illness, or even a specific phobia, there is an increased risk that the new generation may develop a related fear, including aurophobia.
Experience may also play a role in the development of the phobia. If a person encounters something traumatic or emotionally upsetting linked to gold, it may cause them to fear it and form a negative connection.
What Are the Symptoms of Aurophobia?
Like most other phobias, if you have aurophobia, your top symptom is anxiety. You may experience just one symptom at the sight of gold, or it can have a ripple effect and cause many symptoms varying in severity. And when a symptom strikes, even if you know it’s irrational, it can get the better of you.
Someone who has aurophobia may experience these common physical and psychological symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Dry mouth
- Gastrointestinal distress
- Hot flashes
- Increased blood pressure
- Rapid heartbeat
- Sweaty palms
- Loss of control over your feelings and thinking
- Inability to speak or make decisions rationally
- Irrational thoughts and assuming something terrible is about to happen
- Wishing to flee or cry
If your fear of gold causes you to miss out on opportunities, maybe it’s time to learn how to manage it. Yes, you can manage any phobia, including aurophobia, so that you can lead a more normal life.
You don’t need to let your irrational fear get the best of you because there are numerous treatments available.
Though there’s no cure for phobia, with help, you will find yourself able to better cope with your symptoms.
Being more in tune with yourself is critical to getting better. Most of the time, people with aurophobia tend to brush off their fear, knowing that most people around them won’t understand what they’re going through. After all, a gold bracelet or a gold statue appears harmless to most people.
The first step in self-treatment, however, is to admit your fear. And this is a tough pill to swallow, because you accept that you are afraid and that your anxiety in this instance is illogical. The next step is to share your fear, how you feel when it triggers, and to be vulnerable in front of people you trust.
Let people know how you’re feeling, so they can support and understand you better. These steps are the most critical ones and may take time for you to process.
You can also try these other self-treatments:
- Journal to describe your specific triggers and reactions to seeing gold or being near anything gold, and what you can do about it.
- Meditate or do yoga to help attune your energy and ease the negative feelings inside you.
- Learn anything you can about gold—its origin, purpose, and representations because knowing your enemy is essential. And it will reinforce the fact that there is nothing to be scared of.
Aurophobia Professional Treatment
Just as the definitive cause of aurophobia has not been identified, there is also no definite professional treatment for aurophobia. But several treatment plans can improve your symptoms and help you manage your fear better.
Here are some possible treatment options that your healthcare professional may recommend. Note that you may need one or more of these management plans, depending on your situation.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is one of the most common forms of therapy to address anxiety and fears. The therapist encourages you to look at your feelings from a different perspective so that you can respond and react to the stimulus in a more positive way.
As the name suggests, exposure therapy involves being exposed to the source of fear. If you have aurophobia, the therapist may ask you to look at and touch gold objects to gradually confront and overcome your fear.
A hypnotherapist would guide you to tap into your inner self, understand your fear, and influence your perception of gold.
This can make you more confident in dealing with and overcoming your fear of gold. Be easy on yourself because one session is not enough. Expect a long process and keep an open mind. This will also have an effect on the effectiveness of the therapy.
How to Cope with Aurophobia?
Coping with aurophobia will require you to be clear on the goal of overcoming your fear. Remember that this is a battle against yourself. And yes, mind over matter is true, but be prepared for setbacks.
Keep in mind what you want to achieve. Take control of your life. And be aware of what you can enjoy without anxiety at the sight of gold. It can change everything.
A speck of gold can’t hurt you. Don’t let your fear take away what’s more precious than gold—a life that is lived to the fullest and a life that is lived without any regrets.