Chronophobia-The Fear of Time

The Fear of Time is Real to Some

Do you often get worried about how quickly time passes?

Do you find yourself intently listening to the sounds of the hands of the clock moving? When thoughts about time cross your mind, do you feel uneasy or even terrified?

Before talking about this any further, it’s better to be sure. Ask yourself how often do you experience this fear. Does it happen once every few days, daily, or do you think about it all the time?

You may have chronophobia, which means the fear of time. It’s quite common and affects many people of all ages.

Don’t be alarmed. With a little help, this condition is manageable. But first, you need to take a closer look at Chronophobia causes, symptoms, and treatment.

Everything You Need to Know About Chronophobia

Chronophobia comes from the Greek language where “chrono” means time and “phobia” means fear. It is a kind of phobia. Health experts describe phobias as irrational or extreme fear of something.

The tricky part is that this object does not normally cause such a severe reaction in other people. You may dislike cats but having a phobia for cats is a different issue. Similarly, you might get scared of time passing, but having Chronophobia is a different matter.

Chronophobia is different from other phobias since it’s not a visible object that causes the phobia. People who fear birds or snakes simply point at them, and people know how to help them. Since time is a concept, not many people know what to do if someone shows signs of Chronophobia. And how can you avoid time or its symbols in the first place?

What Causes Chronophobia?

You may be wondering, “Why do I have Chronophobia?” Here are some of the reasons why people develop this irrational fear of clocks and time:

Being Trapped and Uncertain
Have you ever been stuck in a place where it’s difficult to get out? It can be a bad marriage, jail, a bad job, or cramped living spaces. Some people who feel trapped and cannot find a way to escape their situation develop Chronophobia.
Prison inmates who are unable to measure time suffer from prison neurosis, which is a kind of Chronophobia. Refugees in camps wonder if things will ever get back to normal. These groups may start measuring time obsessively while being unsure about how long they must continue living in their temporary arrangement.

Physical or Mental Trauma
Victims of sexual abuse, survivors of natural disasters or accidents, and the bereaved are prone to other mental health issues. The event may be directly linked to the passage of time, hence the negative association. On rare occasions, a head injury or a neurological disease affects how the brain functions, which can cause phobias.

A fear of aging or getting old can worsen into a case of Chronophobia. They have regrets or apprehensions about how they have spent their time. These people question their choices and are unable to find clarity in their present lives. Their fears could also be the result of a task left undone or unfulfilled desires.

Having a spate of failures or being constantly reminded of how unsuccessful you are can become another trigger for time-related phobias. These people are ambitious but can never seem to catch a break. They develop this phobia as they start tracking time and seeing how far they are from success.

Terminal Illness
This phobia is common among patients who are aware of their severe illness. They fear death and start developing a phobia of how quickly time is passing by.

If you think you or someone you care about is facing this issue, you must observe and make note of all their symptoms.

Chronophobia Symptoms

People are aware of how unrealistic and illogical their fear is, yet they still succumb to it. That’s a surefire sign that they are dealing with a phobia.
Here are more symptoms to help you identify this phobia.

Psychological Symptoms
● Feeling detached from reality, as if the person is watching life from a third person’s perspective
● Panic attacks
● Confusion and a sudden feeling of disorientation
● Overwhelming, dark thoughts of death
● Fear of losing or wasting time
● Feeling emotional and acting unreasonably

Physical Symptoms
● Nausea or vomiting
● Stomach upset
● Unexplainable body pain
● Fainting spells
● Breathlessness
● Increase in heartbreak

Symptoms only help identify the problem. If you observe these signs consistently, it’s time to accept that you may need help.

How to Cope With Chronophobia Thru Self-Help

It is possible for a chronophobic to lead a normal life. The best way to help yourself is by identifying your phobia and taking the right course of action as soon as you are ready.

Try the following:
1. Do research on Chronophobia.
2. Make a note of all your symptoms.
3. Maintain a personal diary to write about your thoughts.
4. Confide in your loved ones and talk about how you feel.
5. Try meditating, yoga, or exercise to clear your head and channel your thoughts.
6. Use various mental health exercises to learn new things about yourself.
7. Play games to divert your mind and keep your brain active.

However, if you are unable to identify the cause of your phobia, or if self-help methods do not work, don’t fret. You can consult a specialist who can help you.

Getting Professional Chronophobia Treatment

There are many ways to treat it professionally. Experts who have treated similar cases will inquire about your medical history and life experiences to identify the root cause of the issue. They may also ask you to take a Chronophobia test.
If you visit a therapist, it may take several sessions to understand your problem. Based on the issue, they will advise the right therapy.
These are some of the therapies they might prescribe:

Also known as talking therapy, the expert methodically discusses your experiences and emotions. As a third person and a trained consultant, they know what to ask and how to decipher the meaning of your answers.

In some cases, hypnotherapy is used to put you in a deep sleep. This allows the therapist to explore your subconscious.

Using Medication
Consider this as a last resort. In severe cases, prescribed drugs can also be used to manage the phobia.
Most of these therapies are commonly used to cure mental health issues. It’s not surprising as most mental conditions are related.

Learning to Live With Chronophobia

Prevention can be challenging with phobias, as they often focus on everyday objects or abstract triggers that are impossible to avoid. Even after you have undergone treatment, there will be traces of the phobia. Most phobias can never be fully cured. You can use various methods to reduce the effect, but you must realize it’s a constant battle. You might learn ways to stop it, but it’s still going to persist.

Most people fear time and death. However, an unhealthy obsession with either is something that shouldn’t be ignored. It’s a sign of something far more sinister that is going on with you.

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