Phasmophobia or The Fear of Ghosts, Beyond a Little Scary
Do you ever sense a presence around you when you’re alone?
Are your suspicions reinforced when you hear a noise round about the same time? Are you scared of going to the bathroom at night because of your fear?
Do you always sleep with the lights on? – Are you afraid of visiting cemeteries or places where you know people have passed away? – Do you have nightmares after hearing a ghost story?
If so, then you may be suffering from Phasmophobia.
An individual who is scared of ghosts can experience intense bouts of stress anxiety by merely thinking about them. All types of ghosts can trigger this reaction, including phantoms, ghouls, and spirits.
You probably don’t understand what’s happening with you. It’s difficult explaining your fear to people because most individuals don’t believe that ghosts are real. However, your terror is quite real. You become so pale, you begin to resemble a scared ghost.
Let’s take a look at the causes, symptoms, and methods of overcoming this phobia.
What Is Phasmophobia?
Phasmophobia is an all-consuming fear of ghosts. People who suffer from this phobia often feel a strong presence around them when they’re alone. This can quickly turn into a feeling of dread so severe that sufferers can barely function.
Is Phasmophobia Scary?
To people suffering from this phobia, it most definitely is. You can’t fake that bone-chilling terror. People who have phasmophobia often feel that these sensations are life-threatening.
As a result, day-to-day activities become quite challenging. Even going to the bathroom in the middle of the night seems like an impossible task.
What Is Phasmophobia Based on?
Phasmophobia is closely related to the fear of the dark. Other phobias also contribute to Phasmophobia, including the fear of being alone or Autophobia. Research suggests that people who are afraid of being alone, especially at night, are likely to suffer from Phasmophobia. Phobics can often go through sleepless nights because of their fear of ghosts.
What Are the Causes of Phasmophobia?
It’s unclear if people develop a fear of ghosts first, or if it develops because an individual fears the dark or being alone. However, children may develop a fear of ghosts first if they’re exposed to situations that can traumatize them.
Exposure in Childhood
For example, a child can develop Phasmophobia if they watch a scary movie. Scenes from horror films can have lasting effects. Others develop this irrational fear after listening to ghost stories told by older family members. In some cultures, ghosts are used as a threat when children misbehave.
Some people are genetically predisposed to extreme bouts of anxiety. They are at a higher risk of developing phobias.
A lot of religions accept that supernatural forces exist—demons, spirits, or other entities. These religions also claim that these invisible entities are evil and capable of causing harm to human beings. Such notions can induce a fear of ghosts.
This subcategory of science tracks any form of paranormal activity. Some of the results obtained can’t be explained under the laws of science.
Now, people who follow parapsychology can slowly start fearing ghosts. Results obtained from parapsychology can often scar the mind and induce this phobia.
Symptoms of Phasmophobia
Here is a list of some of the most common symptoms of the fear of ghosts.
● Feeling that you’re being watched by some entity
● Fear of death
● Unable to function in daily life
● Obsessive and irrational thoughts about ghosts
● Panic attacks
● Accelerated heartbeat
● Profuse sweating
● Feeling drowsy in the day (due to lack of sleep)
● Inability to go to the bathroom at night
● Refusing to be alone
● Can’t sleep alone
● Difficulty breathing
● Tight feeling in the chest
● Nausea or vomiting
● Feeling dizzy or squeamish
How to Overcome Phasmophobia
There are various self-help methods to deal with your fear of ghosts. Do not expect to see results overnight. It will take time before you can fully cope with this condition.
The first step in the self-help process is to understand that you have a fear and that it is hampering your day-to-day activities. Once you’ve done that, you can learn all you need about your phobia from websites or books. This information will enable you to create a structured plan for dealing with this fear.
Surround Yourself with People You Trust
Having a strong support system plays a huge role in dealing with any kind of fear. People who have overcome their fears agree that no one should walk this path alone. You need to interact with people who love and support you no matter what. They will motivate you to do better, even when you have rough days. This encouragement will boost your morale and encourage you to keep working on your fears.
However, you may not be comfortable with talking to anyone. That’s all right. Try joining discussion groups on phobias. Discussion groups can help you overcome your fears and show you that you’re not the only one who’s fighting demons.
If there’s one thing you shouldn’t stop doing during this period, it’s exercise. Physical activity is known to release stress and calm the mind.
Prioritize cardiovascular training. Exercise releases endorphins, more commonly known as the “happy hormones.”
The best part about cardio is that you don’t need any expensive equipment. All you need is an open space, and you’re good to go. Cycling, running, swimming, and jumping rope are just some exercises you can try.
People suffering from phobias often tend to have extensive bouts of stress and overthinking.
The easiest way to curb this behavior is by expressing yourself. You don’t necessarily have to talk to someone. Grab a pen and write down your feelings in a notebook. You can also type them out on your phone, laptop, or computer. This allows you to rid your mind of any negative and unwanted thoughts.
Seeking Professional Help
Sometimes, self-help methods can have zero impact on your fears. That’s nothing to be ashamed of. Simply consult a trained professional for Phasmophobia treatment. You will probably encounter one of these interventions.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Therapy or MBSR is a form of therapy used with patients that suffer from severe stress, depression, anxiety, ADHD, and low self-confidence. The therapist tries to rid the patient’s mind of any distractions caused by their surroundings and makes them focus on their thoughts.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
This is a method of therapy where the therapist tries to alter the patient’s state of mind to bring it to the desired goal. CBT is a highly effective method and can have long-lasting effects on the patient. However, it doesn’t resolve past traumas. Rather, it deals with situations in the present.
This is a slow and gradual form of therapy. Here, the therapist makes you come face-to-face with your fears. At first, the therapist will ask you to merely think about ghosts. Gradually, you will be exposed to more intense situations until you rid yourself of the fear.
How to Avoid Phasmophobia
The first step to avoid this phobia is to identify what’s causing it. You must accept the situation you are in, to progress. Stay patient and work slowly to achieve your goal. Exercising, meditation, and expressing yourself are some methods that can work wonders. Only take medication as a last resort and under the supervision of a medical professional.
It may feel like you’ll never get over this irrational fear. But slowly, you will live life the way you wanted to. Have faith in the process and yourself and slowly. Soon, the only thing the dark will remind you of is a good night’s sleep.