The Facts are Shocking About Electrophobia
Do you feel anxious or unexplainably nervous around electricity or electrically powered appliances? Does even the thought of electricity and electrical objects make your heart race? And do you find yourself obsessing over and sometimes even exaggerating the likelihood of you getting electrocuted, or caught in a fire outbreak caused by electricity?
All of these are symptoms of a serious phobic condition known as electrophobia or the fear of electricity. Like most phobias, it almost always comes due to a traumatic experience with electricity which leaves the victim triggered for life.
Considering that the world is getting more and more technology-dependent and many of these technologies are powered by electricity, living with a fear of electricity can render you handicapped and unable to function normally. Luckily, it does not have to be this way and the first step towards confronting your electrophobia is by understanding where it comes from and why you are a victim.
What is Electrophobia?
It is the morbid fear of anything powered by electricity. This fear is not so unfounded considering a person can be killed by an electrical accident. However, electrophobia is a high level of apprehension even in the presence of harmless levels of electricity.
What is the meaning of electrophobia?
Your mind is constantly in fear and an exaggerated degree of worry towards anything electrical so much that you are a victim of constant panic attacks and other anxiety symptoms.
The difference between having a phobia and just being cautious around electricity is in the irrational reactions and intense anxiety you have when you have to be around electricity in any form. The former leaves you feeling completely powerless and out of control while the latter teaches you to control or regulate the electricity supply around you to prevent any accidents.
It is a mental disorder that is triggered due to a painful experience with electricity. For example, getting shocked as an infant, or losing someone you love to an electrical accident are all traumatic scenarios that can lead to a disproportionate and intense fear of electrical devices.
You now react to this trigger by avoiding anything electrically powered, including remote controls, microwaves, washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and even cell phones in some extreme cases, which leads to a less than ideal quality of life.
Your fear of electricity is made apparent in certain patterns of behavior or reactions. A typical electrophobic person has a flight or fight response towards electricity. This can manifest both psychologically and physically.
● Hot flashes
● Cold flashes
● Tachycardia (heart rate over 100 beats per minute)
● Full-blown panic attacks
● Morbid anxiety even at the thought of being exposed to electricity
● Expressing shock
● Inability to function normally
● Heart racing palpitations
How to Treat the Fear of Electricity Phobia
You Can Help Yourself
While you cannot completely rid yourself of your phobia, there are certain things or habits you can do to reduce the intensity of your reactions towards the trigger. Bear in mind though that being able to help yourself should not be a substitute for professional assistance, especially in extreme cases. And just like most mental disorders, phobias demand a great deal of self-will and mindful practice to overcome them.
The following are ways you can help yourself get through a bad phobic episode and take back your power and control.
Getting involved in physical activities has always had positive effects on mental health. For sufferers of anxiety disorders, exercise has been shown to greatly reduce your stress level by releasing endorphins or ‘feel-good chemicals’ into the brain. Cardiovascular and aerobic exercises come highly recommended for this purpose.
Consistent meditation brings you to a state of mindfulness and mental alertness that helps you address your irrational fears and put them in the right perspective. It can also help by redirecting the mind from the presence of a trigger to a thought or object that makes you feel safer and less threatened, drastically reducing the chances of an upcoming panic attack.
Concentrating on your breathing and being mindful of slowing down and engaging the diaphragm helps take attention away from the stress and calms down your anxiety. Breathing exercises are a popular coping tool for those with anxiety and have been known to be effective in relaxing the mind.
Experts believe that practicing certain yoga positions can help relieve you of the stress that anticipatory anxiety brings. It’s also another gateway to meditation and mindful redirection.
DESENSITIZATION OR EXPOSURE THERAPY
This involves confronting your fears by deliberately and gradually increasing your exposure to the thing you are afraid of. There is no rush here. Challenge yourself and learn to deal with electricity as a necessary part of daily life slowly.
Professional Help for Electrophobia
As earlier said, self-help is not an alternative to medical help, the two must go hand and in hand. You should seek professional assistance from a therapist, counselor, psychologist, psychiatrist or any other expert in that field who can help you dig deeper into your case and conduct the proper method for treating it.
Each victim has their own unique set of symptoms and intensity and so only an expert can truly offer a solution after carrying out the proper tests and examination. Psychotherapists usually employ the use of certain treatment methods depending on the patient. Examples of these methods are:
COGNITIVE BEHAVIORAL THERAPY (CBT)
This is a treatment often used on sufferers of anxiety disorder and OCD. Since these are symptoms of electrophobia, they have proven to be helpful in dealing with Electrophobia. The process helps you understand your fear at its roots. What could have triggered it, how it has manifested itself in your day-to-day life, how you must confront it. It equips victims with appropriate tools and knowledge of their disorder to help manage it the right way.
Further Medical Help
There are a number of potentially prescribed medications to help people deal with the symptoms of their phobia. Medications like Beta-blockers, Benzodiazepines, and Antidepressants can be used for this purpose.
A Few More Tips for Dealing with Electrophobia
Alienate Caffeine from Your Diet
Caffeine is a well-known stress-inducing substance and it will be best to avoid it if you are suffering from a phobia. Caffeinated beverages, tea, chocolates, and even some foods should be reduced or eliminated from your diet to avoid any possible spike in your already tensed body physiology.
Be patient and kind to yourself in your journey towards healing. There would be episodes of relapse where you feel like you are not making any meaningful progress. You must remember to give yourself time. You are dealing with what is largely a mental disorder. It takes a lot of strength and determination.
Get Good Sleep
Do not underestimate the direct impact that your quality of sleep has on your overall health and stress levels. Get that much-needed rest and your body and mind will thank you for it.
Listen to the Experts
Listen to and follow your professional advisor’s instructions. Be completely open with them about your symptoms, progress, or even relapse.
Your morbid fear of electricity is your mind’s way of protecting you from a re-occurrence. Albeit exaggerated, your fear of electrical devices is not completely irrational because they do cause harm when not handled properly.
Your healing process would entail teaching your body that you are out of danger, and you no longer have to live in fear of something that could be so beneficial to your quality of life. Decide to take the right steps in freeing yourself from the grip of this fear today, because you can.