Fearing Anime. Rare but Real.
Have you ever watched an anime and felt the intense urge to turn your head away? Does the mere thought of anime give you anxiety? Can you not tolerate people around you talking about anime?
If you answered yes to these questions, you may be suffering from animephobia, or the fear of anime.
Animephobia? Sounds strange, right? Anime has been wildly popular, not only in Asia, but also in the West. You’d think there wouldn’t be a problem with something so well liked. And yet, animephobia is a very real condition.
Keep reading to learn more about this phobia and how you can deal with it effectively.
What Is Animephobia?
Anime is a Japanese term that refers to a certain style of animation. Many genres of animation are famous for having their own style.
Animephobia is related to otakuphobia, a phobia of all forms of Japanese cartoons, including anime and manga. And since the art form of anime originated in Japan, the phobia of anime may also extend to a fear of all things related to Japan.
If you’re confused about the meaning of animephobia, it is essentially the fear of anime. When a person with animephobia encounters anime, they usually attempt to avoid it. They might try to shut off their screens as quickly as possible or close their eyes, so the image is out of sight.
Those suffering from this phobia may even experience panic at the sight of anime. They might try to run away. In extreme cases, one suffering from the phobia may become violent towards others who like or talk about anime.
Animephobia is a rare phobia. Because of this, those suffering from this fear find it difficult to convey their feelings. They may fear being judged or ridiculed.
If you have a fear of anime, you’re not alone. Given the different kinds of phobias that exist, animephobia is just another irrational fear. But it can be treated.
The causes of animephobia are unknown. However, like most phobias, animephobia may be due to a childhood experience like watching a horror anime or coming across an anime with too much gore.
There is also a possibility that the fear of anime was acquired from a family member as a hereditary trait. Environment is also a possibility. Watching someone suffer from this fear can trigger the same fear reaction in others.
Like any other phobia, animephobia can significantly impact a person’s physical and mental well-being. It’s important to recognize the symptoms early, so you can get the necessary treatment.
Here are some of the major physical and psychological symptoms of animephobia.
- Rapid heartbeat
- Shortness of breath
- Dry mouth
- Tightness in chest
- Hot flushes or chills
- Fear of dying
- Feeling of dread
- Feeling anxious
- Fear of harm or illness
- Fear of losing control
A person suffering from animephobia may experience a few or many symptoms simultaneously, depending upon the severity of the phobia.
Those suffering from animephobia might typically avoid any situation that may expose them to anime videos or images. This avoidance behavior can cause them to believe they can handle the phobia. They may not even consider being treated.
However, it is not always possible to avoid fear triggers. You may find yourself in a situation where you encounter anime. For example, your spouse or child could be a die-hard fan of anime, or you may have a neighbor who loves anime so much that they wear anime t-shirts.
This is why, regardless how trivial you may think your phobia is, professional help is recommended. Take a look at some of the ways in which you can address your animephobia.
Self-help is one of the first forms of treatment for any type of phobia. As the person suffering from a phobia, you are well aware of the situation or object that triggers your fear and your symptoms, and realize that the fear is irrational.
One way you can deal with your animephobia is by keeping a journal in which you detail every thought related to the phobia. It can help you rationalize your thoughts and overcome your fear while documenting your progress.
You could also consider practicing yoga and meditation to help reduce the anxiety and nervousness accompanying a phobia.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT is a type of talk therapy that primarily focuses on recognizing negative thought patterns and modifying them.
In the case of phobias, your fear influences your thoughts and vice versa. The fear reaction is influenced by your perspective of the object of your fear. CBT can help identify these negative thoughts related to the object of your fear, in this case anime, and help you replace them with positive ones.
CBT aims to help you develop a more accurate depiction of reality. It will help you realize that the characters in the anime are only fictional and pose no real threat.
Exposure therapy is one of the most commonly used techniques used by therapists to help their patients overcome fears and phobias. In exposure therapy, the object of fear is gradually introduced to the patient in a controlled environment in the presence of a health professional.
For animephobia, the patient will typically be first asked to talk about anime and then visualize it. They will then be exposed to photos of anime one at a time. Later, once the patient is able to be around images of anime, the therapist may even introduce anime videos and gradually increase the length of the videos.
This is a gradual process, but it is known to be highly effective in helping people overcome their phobias, including animephobia.
Medication for Animephobia
In extreme cases, when self-help and different types of therapies are unsuccessful, the therapist may put the patient on medication. However, this is a last-resort, short-term therapy in order to avoid long-term dependence.
Antidepressants, SSRIs, and beta-blockers are typically used for the treatment of all phobias and would also be suggested for animephobia.
When a single therapy doesn’t work, the therapist may employ a combination of therapies to help you make progress. Additionally, in cases where the patient is experiencing extreme symptoms, the doctor may combine therapy with medication.
Learning to Cope with Animephobia
Anime is a global phenomenon. One may encounter pictures of anime on t-shirts or mugs or just stumble across someone watching anime in public spaces. And with the increasing popularity of this genre, it will not be a surprise if someone from your family becomes an anime fan.
This is why simply avoiding the object of your fear is not a healthy option. The good news is that animephobia is treatable with self-help and help from health professionals.
Practicing mindfulness or calming activities like yoga or journaling can help reduce the anxiety that results from animephobia. You can also share your thoughts and feelings with your close friends and family so you have a support system as you work to better manage your fear.
Animephobia is the fear of anime, an animation style that originated in Japan. As with any other phobia, those suffering from the phobia of anime may go to extreme lengths to avoid coming into contact with anything anime related. It is important to remember that this phobia can be treated. It is always better to get help and learn to manage your fear rather than avoid it.