Decoding Blennophobia – The Fear of Slime
Do you remember when the slime trend took over social media in 2016? Did watching slime videos make you squirm in discomfort?
Watching Instagram’s clever algorithm throw one slime video after the other must have been a terrifying time for you. You probably experienced extreme fear watching snails leave a wet trail behind. If that’s the case, then in all likelihood you suffer from Blennophobia. But guess what, there’s a way of working around your fear. Let’s discuss all about your fear of slime and how you can overcome it.
Everything You Need to Know About Blennophobia
What phobia is the fear of slime? Blennophobia. It is an irrational fear that induces anxiety when exposed to or experiencing slime — or any other slimy materials such as body fluids or foods.
A Phobia of Fear or Disgust?
What is blennophobia meaning? The word originated from the Greek word “blénnos” meaning slime or mucus. The good news? If you look up “blennophobia meaning” on Google, the search results page will not return a picture of slime. Disclaimer: Do not search “Blennophobia” alone.
Blennophobia is a rare phobia that has been ignored in medicine. As reports of irrational fears increased, scientists began paying close attention to it. Currently, Blennophobia is categorized as a DSM-V anxiety disorder in individuals suffering from it. This irrational fear can be provoked by slimy foods, humid environments that produce slime, and even snails!
Out of the three known categories of phobias which include specific phobias, social phobias, and agoraphobia, Blennophobia is an example of a specific phobia. It pertains to a single entity/object.
Note that blennophobia can be often confused with the word myxophobia, but don’t worry as they are similar. Myxophobia is defined as the fear of slime and mucus.
Interestingly enough, there is a separate fear for slimy creatures known as Molluscophobia.
What Causes Blennophobia?
The most common blennophobia cause is experience. If a person has had traumatic experiences related to slime then, that may be the main cause of developing this phobia. Maybe they were victims of bullying and had a large amount of slimy liquid thrown at them. Past experiences like this, particularly traumatizing ones, are the main cause of Blennophobia.
On the other hand, a lack of experience with something is also linked to the development of phobias. The third cause is genetics. Science has theorized that genetics play a huge role in determining if a child has Blennophobia. A parent or grandparent with severe Blennophobia may pass these genes to their family, who might manifest symptoms of Blennophobia after a trigger event. Additionally, Blennophobia is more frequent among those who have Sensory Integration Disorder.
Is Blennophobia Irrational?
Yes, Blennophobia is an irrational fear. The National Institute of Mental health states that specific phobias such as Blennophobia, are usually induced by external stimuli that pose no actual threat.
However, it should never become the subject of a prank! It is just as harmful as putting a snake on someone with a phobia of snakes. It can lead to anxiety, shortness of breathing, heavy breathing, heart palpitations, etc.
Symptoms of Blennophobia
Phobias are very real despite how unreasonable they may sound. That’s why it is very important to know how they might affect an individual suffering from it. Here are some blennophobia symptoms to look out for.
Blennophobia symptoms manifest in many ways. The person suffering from this phobia will avoid damp areas in their locality at all costs since slime dwells on damp and irrigated soil. But in the long term, such habits of avoiding certain areas or food can lead to Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD).
Being exposed to the fear stimulus can also cause a person to have a severe panic attack and go into cardiac arrest. Even though death by fear is a rare condition, it is not impossible.
Apart from affecting a person mentally, Blennophobia can also cause certain physical changes in individuals. These include:
● Heart Palpitations
● Tensed Muscles
● Hypervigilance or showing extreme alertness to the stimulus
● Trembling and quivering
● Hot flashes and chills
● Feeling of dryness in the mouth or choking
● Excessive sweating
● Increased blood pressure
How Do You Deal With Blennophobia?
In case you might be asking yourself if there is treatment available for Blennophobia, you are in luck! There are a variety of treatments available to help people cope with their fear of slime.
Self Help – What Can You Do To Help Yourself?
There are professional medical treatments for Blennophobia that we will discuss later. But knowing your fear and how to treat it is also important. So, take a deep breath and sit down with yourself every time you experience inexplicable fear because of slime. Begin by jotting down how you feel when you experience slime around you. Make a note of every emotion you go through while experiencing this fear. Now try to replace these negative thoughts with certain positive associations. Try relaxation techniques. Deep breathing, sipping on a cup of warm, soothing tea can help you get into a calmer state of mind. Meditation is very helpful in reducing stress and anxiety. Yoga too is effective. Watching videos and practicing different poses daily has proven to alleviate anxiety and fear. Exercising daily could also be highly effective.
Professional Help for the Fear of Slime – The Options Available
Of course, you can consider seeking help from experts to deal with your phobia. Blennophobia treatment includes many therapies. Many mental health professionals may suggest Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. It is one of the most widely prescribed treatments for mental illnesses. You can meet with a therapist to discuss your fear and the cause of it. Remember, as the patient you must share and reflect on how you developed your fear, why you react the way you do, and how you feel when they are vulnerable. Exposure Therapy is also one of the most popular Blennophobia treatments recommended by experts. In this treatment, you are exposed to the stimulus, in this case, slime. This is done to elicit a response in you that will subside over time. The intervention’s main takeaway is that the stimulus will not harm anyone, especially you. It begins as a minor hostile scenario and progresses to a major one.
Talking therapies, also known as talking treatments, is another form of counseling that facilitates communication between the patient and a therapist. The goal is to help you air out all your feelings and worries. The sessions are private and intimate without enforcing a sense of judgment and intrusion. Sometimes this can help you discover more about yourself and hopefully detach from your irrational fears. Apart from therapy, there is medication. Although there are no specific medications for Blennophobia, anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants could be prescribed to you if you are prone to panic attacks. However, before taking any drugs for Blennophobia, you must first consult your doctor. Self-diagnosis and self-prescription can be quite dangerous.
Learning to Cope with Ophidiophobia
Despite the many available treatments, your Blennophobia might not completely go away. But let us tell you something, getting your phobia treated will certainly help in reducing the intensity of your fear. In the long term, you will be able to handle yourself better in stressful situations.
Wrapping It Up
Suffering from blennophobia is real, which is why we prepared this article for you. Feel free to seek treatments if you suffer from anxiety around slime. Do what makes you feel better about your phobia. With time, slime will not be your villain anymore.